July 27, 2016

Children’s Programs


These programs are funded in part by the City of Tacoma and City of Lakewood.

Children’s Programs include: Backpack Program, Break Bags, and Summer Meals. If you would like to volunteer with our Children’s Programs, please fill out our Backpack Program Volunteer Form and email our coordinator at childrensfeeding@foodconnection.org.

Backpack Program:

We began providing backpacks filled with two day’s worth of food on Fridays during the school year to 50 students at Tacoma’s McCarver Elementary School in January 2008. The program currently provides two day’s worth of food every weekend throughout the school year to more than 1,100 children at 40 local schools. The counselor at each of the schools identifies those students most at-risk of hunger.  The St. Leo Food Connection provides each student with six kid-friendly meals and snacks, including fresh fruits and vegetables, every Friday during the school year.

In Partnership with Tacoma Public Schools and Lakewood Public Schools. Funded in part by the City of Lakewood and United Way Pierce County.

” Some of our families are homeless and this extra food helps so much. One family in particular was living in someone’s garage last school year. The mother was working, but making very little, so the students really appreciated being able to depend on having this food over the weekend. One of our parents is barely scraping by, working two jobs as a single mother and this is one thing that helps.”

— Counselor at a Backpack Program school

If your school is interested in being apart of the Backpack Program, please fill out our online form.

Break Bags:

Similar to the Backpack Program, we have recently been packing and delivering food to students right before long breaks. These bountiful bags help with supplying food for longer periods of time when school is not in session. These breaks include: Thanksgiving break, Winter break, and Spring break.

Summer Meals:

Parents and caregivers in the community are relieved to know that they have a safe place to send their kids for healthy meals during the summer. Last year a grandmother of several kids who attended one of our sites expressed it this way, “The Summer Feeding Program is really good for the kids because it gives them fresh foods and it is really hard to buy fresh foods on public assistance. Sometimes, when a parent could give their child snacks, they would keep their kids inside because they did not have enough snacks for all the kids outside. You feel bad for the other kids, but you cannot really help them.Summer Meals means food equity for the kids here at the apartments.”

Thank you to our Community Partners: • Lakewood, Fife and Fircrest Parks Departments • Mercy Housing • Sage Terrace, Arrowhead & Green Firs Apartments • Pierce College • Catholic Housing Services • Youth Migrant Project • Tacoma Housing Authority