Blue Mountain Action Council
BMAC: A nonprofit community action partnership serving Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties.
News release 1/31/18
Weekend Backpack Program Funding Goal Reached for 2017-2018 School Year
Walla Walla springs into action and helps raise $78,720, enough to provide 492 food insecure kids with weekend meal backpacks for the entire 2017-2018 school year.
Walla Walla, Wa –
When providing backpacks for food insecure children over holiday breaks just wasn’t enough, Blue Mountain Action Council sought funding for a weekend backpack program, which sends nonperishable meals home each weekend, in addition to scheduled holiday breaks. Last week, the $78,720 goal was met after a yearlong grassroots campaign. Reaching this funding goal allows BMAC to expand this program to all public elementary schools in Walla Walla County – providing weekend meals for 492 students. Community support, including over $48,000 from Whitman College’s Mr. Whitman Campaign, over $12,200 from Blue Mountain Community Church and many individual contributions have made BMAC’s objective possible.
“During the school week, these students receive free or reduced cost meals from the school, but go hungry during the weekend and breaks away from the school meal program. Hunger isn't just a stomach thing. It affects both the mind and body of growing kids. Proper nutrition is a building block in forming the foundation of child's well-being.” Jeff Mathias, BMAC Food Bank Director
“Reaching this school year’s goal speaks to the community we live in. Now we can feed these kids and continue to give them security as they head home for the weekend. Much work is still ahead. To continue this means finding new funding each year.” –Tracy Parmer, BMAC Development & Outreach
Funds raised in excess of the goal will go toward increased nutrition and providing additional meals during long weekends, like President's Day. Each standard Backpack Bridge bag provides 4 nonperishable meals, stuffed discreetly in the student’s backpack, each Friday before they head home for the weekend. Volunteer opportunities, including building and delivering backpacks are available through the food bank.