Weekend Backpack Program

For far too many Imperial County children, school breakfasts and lunches are their main source of meals. While 75% of children are eligible for free or reduced cost meals at school, thousands face empty cupboards at home, returning each Monday morning in a state of crisis. The Imperial County childhood food insecurity rate is the highest in California, and as a community we must act to address this problem.

You can help! The Weekend Backpack Program provides a solution to weekend hunger. This is how it works. Teachers identify the most at-risk students who are then given food to fill their backpacks on Fridays when they leave school. We are currently raising funds to feed approximately 750 students every Friday during the 2023-2024 school year. Adopt a child in this program for $200 for the school year.

“Thank you! The best food was the fruit. Thank you so much!” – Drake, a local student

For most of these students, we do not know what goes on at home. We work with the schools to make sure the child discreetly receives the food while being treated with dignity and respect. Within the backpacks, we include food that does not require cooking, as we know some children do not have access to a working kitchen. We also do our best to fill the backpacks (without being too heavy to carry) because children may share the food with their siblings. Overall, children may be facing instability at home on the weekends, but they know they can rely on receiving food every Friday.  

We are so grateful to the over 30 schools throughout the county that participate in the program. We rely on incredible administrators, teachers, and volunteers to make sure the students receive the food each week. In 2023, due to generous community support, we started helping kids in the summer! In partnership with 8 local libraries, we brough food to 350 children on Fridays during their summer programs. Community support and involvement is vital to keep this program going!

Our 2022-2023 program included 33 schools throughout the Imperial County. Thank you to these schools who have taken the time and effort to help feed their students beyond the classroom.

Schools in Brawley:

Schools in Westmorland:

Schools in Imperial:

Schools in El Centro:

Schools in Holtville:

Schools in Seeley:

Schools in Calexico:

Schools in San Pasqual:

*List as of February 2023