Backpack programs started in the U.S. in 1995. Backpack programs started in 2011 in Cabarrus County. Individuals saw the need of helping hungry children and began providing backpacks of food on the weekends. Cabarrus County School staff (Social Workers and Guidance Counselors) and community leaders got the ball rolling at their schools and approached community churches and organizations to help provide backpacks to their nearby schools. Cabarrus County has backpack programs which are distributing food through local area churches and organizations.
The free and reduced-price school meal information can help groups determine where to create a backpack food program.
When choosing the school to launch a program with, consider how the program will affect the children of the school:
If it is a Severe Need School (40% or more of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals), you may be serving a Large number of students.
If it is a Non-Severe Need School (less than 40% of students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals), you may be serving a Small group of children.
Not all schools in the county are being served through a backpack program and this is a critical issue that needs to be addressed, because every school has children on free and reduced lunches.