Blessings in a Backpack

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 11:03am

Mission Statement: Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

  • Blessings in a Backpack is currently providing weekend nutrition to more than 88,000 elementary school children in 950 schools in 46 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health, and increased attendance have all been attributed to consistent nutrition, such as what Blessings in a Backpack helps provide.
  • Hunger prevents children from reaching their full potential. Long-term, childhood hunger can lead to a weaker immune system, increased hospitalization rates, and impaired neural development, leading to lower IQs and lower academic achievement. Short term, unmet nutritional needs make it very difficult for children to learn, pay attention in class, and behave properly to retain knowledge.
  • More than 16-million children in America live in households that struggle with food insecurity. 22% of Howard County students identify as living in poverty – we believe the number is much higher.
  • Running Brook Elementary is designated as a Tier 1 school. During the school week, 53% of children at are fed breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday by the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal (FARMS)program. But what do these children eat on the weekends?

How It Works:

  • It costs approximately $100 to purchase food to feed one child on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year.
  • Volunteers and staff members lead the Blessings in a Backpack program at Running Brook. The volunteer team raises funds to support the number of children in the program, connects with the families, purchases food and distributes the backpacks on Friday
  • The national organization provides volunteer support and training and program administration services; raises awareness of childhood hunger throughout the country; and forms relationships with national partners and food providers. By the national office providing these services, all locally raised support stays in the community to purchase food for Running Brook’s students.
  • Every Friday, students receive backpacks with staples that require little to no preparation. They return on Monday ready to learn.

With your support we can:

  • Provide supplemental nutrition to the 264 students who qualify for the FARMS program at Running Brook Elementary.
  • Build children’s feelings of self-worth, inclusion, and security by the connection to caring adults in their school.
  • Prepare children for a successful week of school and building a positive home/school relationship.


  • The program is a hybrid of private sector funding and public partnership carried out in elementary schools.
  • Blessings does not receive federal or local tax dollars.

Blessings is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible. (EIN 26-1964620) Status - 107 (b) (1) (A) (vi)

Ways to donate:
Donations can be made online or by check.

To donate directly on-line to the Running Brook Elementary School account, please visit . Charges appear on your credit card statement as Blessings in a Backpack/Blackbaud Merchant Services.
Donations by check should be made payable to Blessings in a Backpack with Running Brook Elementary School on the memo line. Please send all checks to the following address:

Blessings in a Backpack
P.O. BOX 950291
Louisville, KY 40295

Donors will receive a thank you letter containing the Blessings in a Backpack Federal Tax ID# which serves as a charitable gift receipt.

We invite all donors to allow us to thank them publically through our school newsletter, school functions and blasts to our community partners. We invite all corporate donors to be recognized formally through our HCPSS Partnership Program.

For more information, visit or contact:
Jane Hartlove
Black Student Achievement Liaison
Blessings In a Backpack Program Coordinator
Running Brook Elementary School
Phone: 410-313-6893

Thank you for your interest in improving our school and community.