While school breakfast and lunch programs can feed food insecure children on weekdays, many may go hungry during the weekend.
To meet that need, PowerPak 4 Kids, a Wichita Falls Area Food Bank program, provides a 2-pound bag of nutritious, easy-to-prepare food, quietly placed in students' backpacks on Fridays.
In our service area over 50 schools participate in PowerPak 4 Kids. Teachers and staff identify food insecure children using criteria provided by the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank. Hunger can make it hard for children to concentrate, learn and make good grades. A 2014 study of our PowerPak 4 Kids program showed increases in participants' school work, participation, concentration, and behavior. When their basic needs are met, children have the chance to thrive.
Since its beginning in 2006 the need for PP4K has grown. In 2017 nearly 55,000 PowerPaks were distributed to children in Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Haskell, Jack, Knox, Montague, Wichita, Wilbarger and Young counties who otherwise wouldn’t have enough to eat.
At some schools PP4K numbers “continue to increase” in 2018.
“Two siblings who are receiving the backpack food were temporarily without a place to stay and were separated from their caregivers,” a PowerPak 4 Kids school coordinator shared. “One of the siblings spoke to me and said they were very thankful for the backpack food because she knew it was something she could always count on.”
In WFAFB’s 12-county service area 1 in 4 children don’t have dependable access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
Providing them with enough food is key to building a better future for North Texas.
"It has been a privilege to participate in PP4K. I love the students and their families and would take any opportunity to help them,” Amy Emrick, Archer City Elementary PP4K coordinator said. “I am glad that Archer City ISD and WFAFB can work together to offer such a service."
If you would like to support our PowerPak 4 Kids program, make a donation on our homepage today. A $70 contribution will cover a child for an entire school year!
For more information about PowerPak 4 Kids, call WFAFB Childhood Hunger Directer, Jim McMahan, at 940-766-2322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Judith McGinnis