About Us

TunasandwichshoesWe are small group of concerned parents, teachers, and citizens interested in securing food for children in need of nutritious meals on weekends. Last year we raised over $10,000, supplying 44 children with backpacks instead of our original aim of 40. Now our goal is to raise $13,000 for the 2014/15 school year to supply 52 children in the Wiscasset School System with weekend backpacks of food.  The Backpack Program discreetly provides nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare food to chronically hungry children in every day backpacks to take home over the weekends and out-of-school times. Children eligible for this program will be given a backpack to bring home for the weekend.

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The Backpack program is growing in communities throughout the United States. Good Shepherd Food Bank, our partner in this effort, was particularly moved by a story shared with one teacher who says:

“Children are eager to get their food on Fridays. They are proud to be taking food home for their families.” 

Another teacher wrote:

“It is amazing to see my students’ excited faces when they receive their BackPacks – they know they will have food to eat for the weekend.”

Shannon Coffin, Good Shepherd Food Bank Program Director has watched these programs grow throughout the State of Maine. Coffin states: “At the end of 2011 -2012 school year, Good Shepherd Food Bank sent out surveys to parents and school staff participating in the BackPack Program so they could collect feedback. They were overwhelmed by the positive response received.”  

“A full 100% of parents who completed the survey agreed that the BackPack Program was easy for their family to participate in and that it helped their families stretch their food budget. Over 80% agreed that the program helped their child eat more nutritious food this year and that food was shared amongst several siblings in the home.”

A parent commented on the program, “The Backpack Program is a true blessing!  We are two parents who are experiencing an array of illnesses and loss of work. This help allows us to worry a little less about an essential part of our lives – meals.” 

Wiscasset Middle Schoolers presents Gretchen Burleigh-Johnson with a check.

Wiscasset Middle Schoolers presents Gretchen Burleigh-Johnson with a check.

Mittens up for grab for all students at Wiscasset Schools 2014.

Mittens up for grab for all students at Wiscasset Schools 2014.

 

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