About Us

It's all about Feeding Kids!

Food Backpacks 4 Kids exists to meet the nutritional needs of hungry and food-insecure children and their families living on the Key Peninsula and in Gig Harbor. Children thrive when they have access to healthy food and our community volunteers work hard to collect and distribute food to any family in need with children. 

We feed hungry families by:

  • ​Welcoming families to "shop" for weekly groceries at our Family Food Pantry in Key Center, four days a week.
     

  • Sending Food Backpacks filled with child friendly foods to 10 schools in the Peninsula School District. 
     

  • Keeping Care Cupboards stocked with snacks, ready to eat options, food for kids to take home and make meals at our local high schools, middle schools and several elementary schools.

  • Provide home delivery for any family place bound.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Our History

The Food Backpacks 4 Kids program was launched on the Key Peninsula in 2009. Since then, we have given away over 1.5 million pounds of nutritious food to children and their families!

 

In our first week of operation, nine backpacks were packed for distribution at Evergreen Elementary School,  ten years later the program grew to serve 500 children a week. Our original core group of volunteers on the Key Peninsula, at Agnes Dei Lutheran Church and Peninsula Lutheran Church packed backpacks for 14 schools in our school district. Year after year, week after week, these fabulous volunteers worked for the children in our community. 

When the community was required to shelter in place because of COVID-19, we radically changed our processes to meet the needs of our families and their children.  To continue to serve our families we established three  drive-thru distribution programs on the Key Peninsula and in Gig Harbor. Instead of 10 pound backpacks, families received grocery bags and boxes filled with fresh, frozen, and nonperishable foods. We never imagined that we would need to operate the drive-thru program for 18 months.  

In September of 2021 we pivoted once again and opened our Family Pantry, over 400 families "shop"  for groceries or receive home deliveries. Every week younger children are getting their Food Backpacks at school. Older students are filling their own backpacks with meal options and snacks available in our Care Cupboards at the middle and high schools.

We have grown tremendously and have stayed true to our mission and commitment to the children in our community. We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support our organization we receive. The donations, food drives, and thousands of volunteer hours have made Food Backpacks 4 Kids an organization built by our community to serve our community. 

 

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We believe no child can achieve their full

potential without adequate nutrition

- no child should go to bed hungry in our community - 

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Our Mission

To meet the nutritional needs of hungry children in our local schools at times when other resources are not available, during weekends and school vacations, and to provide a sound basis for learning and personal growth through a strong supplemental nutritional program.

 

Our Vision

A community where each and every child is well fed and can achieve their full potential. Where no family experiences food insecurity. 

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Our Team

Board Chair - Beverly Buster

Director of Operations - Zaida Woodworth

Director of Communications - Michelle Johnson

- and most importantly -

hundreds of wonderful volunteers

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Children Need Your Support!

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