The Backpack Program was started back in 2011 when it became apparent on Monday mornings that many of the students were not getting enough to eat over the weekend. Almost 51 percent of Birchwood students receive free or reduced lunches and breakfasts. The Backpack Program started small with only 24 students the first year; since then it has grown to the current 55 students.
Throughout the school year, our Backpack teams assemble a bag to be taken home on Friday afternoons. The program is run by volunteers with the help of students and Jo Henk, school secretary. All that is required is a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian. We receive no federal funding; all funds are privately donated. The cost of becoming a Backpack Pal and sponsoring a student for the school year is $225.00. We strive to make the food kid friendly and continually add healthier products. Fresh fruit is packed into every bag and healthy snacks, such as granola bars, nuts, raisins, and juices, are included. Shelf-stable milk has been added this year along with personal supplies, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
The program has been a tremendous success and we plan to continue as long as there is a!need. Thank you for your support!
Johnson Financial Group is honored to provide support to the Birchwood Area Food Pantry to help with the School Back Pack Program for The Birchwood students. In Honor of our associates unwavering dedication to serve our clients from the beginning of the pandemic to today, it was decided to give back to our communities that they live and work in to show our appreciation and infuse our time and resources where the need is the greatest.