BackPack Pfriends teams up district, churches to provide weekend meals
How can a child focus on solving a math problem or reading a new word when they are trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger? More than 18 million children across the country receive free or reduced lunch prices at school, but what happens to these students over the weekend when the schools are closed?
At Pflugerville ISD, we know hunger does not take the weekends off, which is why the district has partnered with local religious organizations and Aramark food services to create the BackPack Pfriends program. BackPack Pfriends provides healthy meals to PfISD elementary children in need over the weekends and school holidays. Every Friday afternoon during the school year students are given a backpack full of nutritious food, including proteins, cereals, milk, fruit and granola bars.
Many families have been helped through difficult times through the program, and have been happy to pass along services to other PfISD families once their immediate needs were met.
“We had a family with two children who had both been receiving backpacks for several months when the oldest child came to me and said their family doesn’t need the backpacks anymore because they were doing better,” Barron Elementary Counselor Emily Arbesu said. “When I called to check with the mother she said the family was in a better place and she would like the backpacks to go to another family who might be in greater need. I thought it was a great lesson for her kids and really what the program is all about.”
The program has expanded from three elementary schools last year to nine campuses this year and continues to grow. For more information, please contact Vicky Esparza-Gregory at 512-594-1953.