Non-profit Spotlight: KidsPACK
The bell rings at the same time every Friday. We pack up our things, and another week at school is over. Most of us can’t wait to go home, except for her. She doesn’t know where she’ll sleep tonight. Most of us talk about what we’ll have for dinner, except for him. He doesn’t know where his next meal will come from. Most of us have a roof over our head and food in our bellies. Most of us do, but some of us don’t. And for those of us who don’t, there is hope, and this hope comes in a backpack.
KidsPACK Inc. is a local nonprofit organization supported by community leaders, corporate sponsors, and volunteers all dedicated to feeding disadvantaged children right here in our communities. Every Friday before the final school bell rings, the kidsPACK program discreetly provides a backpack full of nutritious food to sustain these disadvantaged children on weekends when they do not have access to subsidized school meals.
The food distributed every Friday in the backpack consists of two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners with items including but not limited to Chef Boy R Dee, Pop-Tarts, and fruit cups. All of these items are either purchased in bulk or donated by members of the community. There are kidsPACK collection boxes located in various counties throughout Central Florida, with their placement ranging from local businesses to churches to large corporations.
The kidsPACK program is centered on helping those who cannot help themselves. To identify these disadvantaged children within the school systems in our communities, the kidsPACK program has a liaison at every school the program services — whether this individual is a teacher or staff member. These liaisons simply provide the kidsPACK team with a number. The provided number is the number of hungry children within that school, and kidsPACK then works to feed every one of those counted children.
There are over 2,400 homeless children in Polk County alone. At the end of the last school year, the kidsPACK program was feeding 1,025 disadvantaged children in Polk, Osceola, Hillsborough, and Hardee counties. The kidsPACK program has helped so many, but there is still a long way to go. KidsPACK is a feeding program, but kidsPACK does a lot more than simply provide food. KidsPACK delivers hope — hope in a backpack. Join us in the fight to stop childhood hunger for good.
If you would like to get involved, there is a list of current pack sites with their subsequent packing dates and any upcoming events listed on the website, www.KidsPack.org. Contact the office at 1-800-598-7871 about additional volunteer and donation opportunities.