More than 50 percent of children in southeast Michigan qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs and receive two out of three of their daily meals at school. On the weekend, these children might not have access to the food they need to grow healthy and happy. In order to supplement the food service provided during the school day, Gleaners’ BackPack program partners with local schools to distribute a variety of nutritious food ahead of each weekend. Each pack is filled with nourishing food aligned with USDA Dietary Guidelines, including shelf stable milk, protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
“BackPack is a great program for the children and for helping parents like me who have to make every penny count.”Parent of a BackPack Program Participant
This month, Consumer Energy Foundation awarded Gleaners $5,000 to support our BackPack Program. With the support of Consumers Energy Foundation, Gleaners is actively combating childhood hunger in our region. In 2020, Gleaners BackPack program aims to distribute 60,000 BackPacks to 5,450 students. The BackPack program prioritizes schools with the highest concentration of disadvantaged students, the number of children receiving free and reduced-price school meals, and the availability of other food resources in those neighborhoods.
Last year, Gleaners’ child-specific feeding programs, including the BackPack Program, served more than 24,000 children. Together with our network of partner agencies, Gleaners provides nutritious food to more than 211,000 children in the region. Learn more about our programs that fight hunger here.
Gleaners is grateful to have Consumer Energy Foundation as a partner in our work to end childhood hunger. The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan–its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. The support Gleaners receives from Consumer Energy Foundation is an investment in helping children in southeast Michigan have the brightest possible future.