Weekend Power Pack
The Weekend Power Pack Program meets the nutritional needs of children at risk of hunger during weekends. Through the program, kids are given special backpacks filled with nutritious foods. A typical pack will contain: proteins (tuna, beef stew, or peanut butter), vegetables (canned spinach, carrots or green beans), fruits (canned or fresh) and miscellaneous items (fruit juice, multigrain bars, cereal, or pudding cups.)
The backpacks are assembled by volunteers and delivered to a school partner each week. Normally, the packs are distributed on Thursday or Friday, with kids returning them on Wednesday of the following week.
The Food Bank's Weekend Power Pack Program was initiated in October 2005 providing packs for 30 children from one school. As of 2010, the program supports 31 sites providing 141,550 backpacks and logging 13,586 hours of volunteer support.
Teachers and schools have reported improvements in test scores, positive behavioral gains, decrease in number of unexcused absences and an increased recognition of potential career paths.
Recognizing the important role that Bayer plays in America’s food production and their desire to be proactive in supporting the next generation of leaders whose families might need additional support in meeting their nutritional needs, Bayer USA Foundation awards an annual donation, which allows the Food Bank to purchase the food, as well as the backpacks and administer the program. Bayer USA Foundation has provided generous financial support for the program since 2006.