Summer Backpack Program starts this month

MOSCOW – No child should go hungry, but the sad fact is, according to The Idaho Foodbank, nearly one in five children in Latah County is food insecure, meaning they don’t have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

To help combat the problem, through a partnership between the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and sponsorships from organizations like Gritman Medical Center, local children facing food insecurity will have access to free weekend meals through the Summer Backpack Program beginning Friday, June 14.

Throughout the summer, children can visit Lena Whitmore Elementary School from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays to receive a backpack full of nutritious food to take home for the weekend. Each bag will contain two breakfasts, lunches and dinners, plus snacks and fresh produce.

Any child facing food insecurities may participate, and there is no limit on the number of children per family.

When the Summer Backpack Program started in 2013, about 30 backpacks were given out weekly, however, organizers are anticipating that this year 120 bags will be handed out every week.

To make a donation, volunteer or for additional information on the Summer Backpack Program, contact St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at (208) 882-2022 or the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse at (208) 882-4328.