HRDC’s Gallatin Valley Food Bank launches Healthy KidsPack for 11th year
HRDC’s Gallatin Valley Food Bank is again sponsoring their Healthy KidsPack service in elementary schools for the 2019/2020 school year. KidsPack is a supplemental weekend food bag program for elementary kids to utilize when the school week is over.
In Montana, 1 in 6 children experience food insecurity. Last year, KidsPack served an average of 450 kids a week during the school year. KidsPack started in 2008 and continues to offer nutritionally balanced, kid-friendly foods which are packed and distributed to local school children every Friday during the school year. KidsPack bags are available to all children at participating schools regardless of income.
In addition to the KidsPack program, HRDC’s Gallatin Valley Food Bank piloted their KidsPantry program in 3 schools last year. KidsPantry provides in-school and weekend food access to students in middle and high school. In the last school year, KidsPantry served between 60 and 80 kids a week. Selected items can be taken home or consumed at school as needed.
“School lunch is great, but many children need food for the weekends, and our Healthy KidsPack program is here to help. To address the needs of older kids, we started our KidsPantry for youth outside of elementary school so they can still access nutritional foods. Our KidsPantry operates on a pantry model, which gives students privacy and autonomy to choose items that best suit their needs. We believe no one should go to bed hungry,” says Lyra Leigh-Nedbor, HRDC’s Gallatin Valley Food Bank Child Nutrition Programs Coordinator.
For more information about HRDC’s Gallatin Valley Food Bank, as well as any other HRDC program or service, please visit www.thehrdc.org. To sign up for KidsPack, reach out to the school’s main office about your interest. •