The "BackPack Distribution Program" distributes food to children living with hunger in the Grand Forks area.
The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics was awarded $10,000 from Otto Bremer to buy food for the expanding program. The backpacks are assembled at the Mission and delivered to schools for distribution to students so they will have food over the weekends and holidays.
UND and the Mission are also working towards improving the nutritional value of the foods offered. The Grand Forks County NDSU Extensions Service is partnering with UND to provide nutrition education for delivery with the packs.
In its first year the program helped 32 students, and this past year it benefited 150 students. The Mission hopes to serve more children this upcoming school year.
The first Backpack Program was started in 1995 in Little Rock Arkansas, when a school nurse noticed children showing symptoms of hunger, such as nausea and dizziness, on Monday mornings after the long weekend.
Food insecurity and hunger can impact a child's physical, mental and cognitive health and impair typical growth and development.
Anyone interested in donating to the program, please contact the Northlands Rescue Mission at www.nrmission.com, or call 701.772.6609