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Feeding 0 children weekly, and counting...

Backpack Buddies provides children from food-insecure homes with healthy weekend meals during the school year. The children, selected by school principals and guidance counselors, receive a backpack containing six balanced meals and four healthy snacks at the end of every week.

Feed | Educate | Love

Hungry children

Each week in St. Clair County, an estimated 5,000 children leave school not expecting to eat until they return to school.

Lack of focus

On Mondays, teachers are finding they are forced to compete against hunger for the attention of their students.

Low self worth

Children with food insecurities commonly have low self-esteem and can experience periods of depression.

Feeding Children

Our first mission to ensure that no child goes hungry when they leave school each week. Our bags provide an average of 2,000 calories per day.

Education for all

When children are well-nourished, they can focus on their studies and have an increased chance of staying in school to graduate.

Everyone is important

We want our "buddies" to understand that everyone is important, including them. They should know that someone cares and is looking out for them.

Want to know how you or your organization can get involved?

Our buddies and their stories
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    Hungry & embarrassed

    A small girl often comes to school unwashed, hungry and embarrassed that she didn't have a snack like her peers. To fit in, one day she brings a can of soup and an onion as a snack.

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    Brothers with no focus

    Two brothers were struggling with a lack of attention and motivation. According to teachers, once they began receiving their buddy bags the brothers began doing much better.

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    Girl now has dinner

    Elementary aged girl told the school counselor she was having her "backpack food" for dinner. It was later learned that her family had been living without electricity for the past 6 months.

How can you help?

Help us feed a child this week

Each bag provided costs an average of $5.00, which means that sponsoring a child would cost $20.00/month or $200.00 per school year.

We appreciate every gift, whether it's one meal, a month of meals or more. Please consider helping us ensure each of these children have the nutrition necessary to succeed.

One of the easiest ways to support Backpack Buddies is to donate food. Below are some common questions about the types of food we provide and how you can collect for us.

What type food do you provide in each bag?

Each child receives enough food for 6 meals and 4 snacks each week. Download a PDF with our sample menu with exampes of each item.

Where can I drop food off?

Contact us to find the nearest drop off location for you. Also, contact us if you'd like your church or place of business to be a drop off location for Backpack Buddies food donations.

Can my church/club/business host a food drive?

Absolutely! Download our sample menu to ensure you're collecting the right types of food. Some other ideas for a food drive might include hosting a movie night or holiday party and charging a food item as the price of admission.

With an estimated 5,000 children in St. Clair County with food insecurity, our goal is to be in every school. Our sponsors are the lifeblood that make that possible. While we are currently serving all of the elementary schools in the county, there are still many schools in need of a sponsor. Below are questions that we often receive about sponsoring a school. If you or your organization would be interested in sponsoring a school, please contact us.

What is a Backpack Buddies sponsor?

A school sponsor ensures that their school receives the needed number of bags of food each week. School counselors will contact you with the number of children in need of bags. The number of bags needed may fluctuate week to week, but will normally become more steady as the school year progresses. As a sponsor, you or your organization would provide the monetary and logistical resources needed to ensure that no child goes hungry at your school.

As a sponsor, am I responsible for the cost of the food?

Our sponsors are committing to do all they can to make sure that every child in their school who needs a bag receives one. However, we realize everyones resources are different. For this reason, you can partially sponsor a school and commit to providing 5, 10, 20 bags per week. In that case a school may have several sponsors working in tandem to meet the need.

Backpack Buddies sponsors are a family. So when one sponsor has difficulty meeting a need in their school others can step in to assist.

Can my church or business sponsor a school?

Certainly. Many of our school sponsors are churches and we have many businesses that provide consistently for our schools. Contact us today to learn more.

Does a school in my community that needs a sponsor?

We're constantly working to provide sponsor for each school in our county so we recommend you contact us for the most current list of schools and sponsors.

Contact us

Want to know how you or your organization can get involved? Want to tell us how a child you know has been impacted by the Backpack Buddies program? Fill out the form to the left or contact us via the methods below. We love to hear from you!


7324 Parkway Drive
Leeds, AL 35094




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