Our Kids’ BackPack Program recently received a major boost from 300 Dunkin’ Donuts corporate employees. For the second consecutive year the “BackPack Pack-a-Thon” event at the Mohegan Sun Arena was held to determine which Dunkin’ Donuts employee team could fill the most bags with nutritious food in an hour. In the weeks and days leading up to the event, teams with names like “Brew Crew,” “Top Javas” and “Raise the Dough,” practiced and strategized on how they could outperform the others and win the coveted “Golden BackPack” award from Connecticut Food Bank.
In the end, more than 7,500 bags were filled with healthy food for more than 2,000 Connecticut children who receive the food on weekends when they don’t have access to school meals.
In addition, The Dunkin Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation presented Connecticut Food Bank with a $6,000 donation to support the Kids’ BackPack Program.
“Connecticut Food Bank is grateful for the ongoing support of the Kids’ BackPack Program by Dunkin’ Donuts employees and The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank’s President & CEO. “This gift will sustain this vital program that provides supplemental weekend nutrition to children who are food-insecure.”
According to an August 2011 Feeding America study:
- Nearly 19 percent, or almost one in five of Connecticut’s children are at risk of hunger.
- That means nearly 110,000 children statewide do not always know where their next meal is coming from.
The larger problem is half of the children living in food insecure households in Connecticut are not eligible for federal child nutrition programs – such as SNAP (food stamps), reduced-price school meals and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) – because their families earn incomes over the threshold to qualify.
The Kids’ BackPack Program plans to serve 109 schools in 18 Connecticut towns in the 2011-2012 school year. A typical bag of food includes two each of packages of milk, 100 percent fruit juice, two whole grain cereals, two high-nutrition entrees and two low-fat, low sugar snacks.
You can learn more about the event by watching this video on The Day newspaper Web site.