BackPack Program

Backpack food programs offer families free groceries for weekends and school breaks. Food backpacks include healthy, easy-to-prepare food for kid-friendly meals.

Food banks partner with schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and community centers to distribute backpacks to kids.

How do I find a BackPack Program near me?

The Feeding America network hosts over 10,000 Backpack Programs across the United States. Find a weekend backpack program by asking your school district or local food bank. Just enter your zipcode below.

Even if a food bank looks far away, they work with schools and youth programs closer to your home.

What comes in the backpacks?

Every BackPack Program is unique. Most backpacks include enough food to make a few healthy meals. That way, kids return to school on Monday, ready to learn.

Backpacks may include:

  • Breakfast items like cereal, oatmeal, or granola bars
  • Easy to prepare meals like mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or canned soup
  • Bread
  • Milk or juice
  • Fresh or canned fruit
  • Fresh or canned vegetables
  • Snacks

How often can I get a food backpack?

BackPack Programs in the Feeding America network are required to provide meals at least once a month. Most programs give out backpacks every week on Fridays or the day before a school break. Programs usually take a break during summer. During the summer, they may host summer meal programs.

How can I help?

There are many ways you can help BackPack Programs across the country.

  • Volunteer. Many BackPack programs rely on regular volunteers. Volunteers pack backpacks, set up distributions, and pass out backpacks to students.
  • Donate. In 2022, network BackPack programs served over 54 million meals. You can support Feeding America or your local food bank.
  • Host. If you want to become a backpack site, reach out to your nearest food bank. Feeding America distributes food and funds to partner food banks.