lue Mountain Action Council

BMAC­: A nonprofit community action partnership serving Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties.

News release                                             1/31/18


Date: 1/31/18
Contact: Jeff Mathias, Food Bank Director, 509-529-3561, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.


2018 Backpack Check Acceptance Blue Mtn Community Church

 In December, leaders of Blue Mountain Community Church brought the need of our Backpack Bridge program to their congregation. The Backpack Bridge allows us to fund weekend meal backpacks for food insecure children - essentially bridging the hunger gap between school and home. This church's community engagement and generous spirit produced a donation of $12,282, which will help serve 76 children for the entire 2017-2018 school year.

By advocating for these children, they have given more than weekend meals - they have given the gifts of stability, peace of mind and hope. Talk about great community action. A big thanks to Blue Mountain Community Church!

Walla Walla Noon Rotary fundraisers a community help

Walla Walla Rotary Club members donated $3,000 during their "Small Trees, Big Impact" silent auction in December. While the check states $2,980, a last minute $20 donation was recieved to reach the 3K mark. With each dollar raised, BMAC can convert that into $6 in food assistance. This $3,000 donation makes a substaintial impact and will help us deliver approximatly 16,000 meals to the community. Thank you to the great folks at Walla Walla Rotery Club!

Bridge the Hunger Gap With a Friday Backpack!
Backpack Bridge September 30

Click here to read the Union-Bulletin article about the Backpack Bridge event.

How you can be engaged:

  • Watch for information about Mr. Whitman activities through the month of October including two bag building events on Whitman College Campus and the Mr. Whitman Pageant on November 4th. Mr. Whitman is a fundraiser of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority on Whitman Campus. They have selected the Backpack Bridge project as their charity this year.
  • Sponsor one of eight Bag Building Events where you recruit 25-30 people to come together and build a month’s worth (2,000) of food bags.
  • Volunteer to transport food bags to a Walla Walla Valley elementary school.

About the Backpack Program:


8:30am to 5:00pm
8:30am to 4:00pm
CLOSED daily from
12:00pm to 1:00pm

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