BackPack Program

The BackPack Program is five years old!  Growing out of a desire to “do something” about the difficult situations faced by many children of the community, the idea of a program to ensure that basic food items were available and accessible to children over the weekend was set into motion early in 2011.  Now, approximately 220 students in need from South Vermillion elementary schools are able to take home a bag of food items in their own backpacks most weekends during the school year.  Typically, these bags include a juice box, a shelf-stable milk, two breakfast, two lunch and two fruit items.

Students who are in need at the participating schools are eligible to enroll in the BackPack Program. Enrollments are accepted at any time. Students just need to request a permission slip from their teachers.

The BackPack Program is organized and operated entirely by volunteers. Funding comes from financial and in-kind donations and grants from many individuals, businesses, and community groups.

Donations may be sent to:
Clinton First United Methodist Church
Attn: BackPack Program
PO Box 186
Clinton, IN 47842

For more information about the BackPack Program, please email backpackbags@hotmail.com or leave a message at the church, 765.832.3159.

Permission Slip

Back Pack Program Timeline

  • January 2011–Church brainstorming meeting for those interested in a program to improve conditions for local children. Several options were discussed with a weekend food program being selected.
  • May 2011—Launched four-week pilot program for 74 students at Central Elementary, using a church closet for food storage and a Sunday school classroom to pack.
  • 2011-12 school year—Central had 110 participants to start the year and increased to 140 later in the year, as more families heard about the program.
  • 2012-13 school year—Approximately 140 participants at Central.  Moved into Sunday school classroom to allow for food storage and packing in one designated space and to handle the potential doubling of students served.
  • February 28, 2013 the BackPack Program expanded to include students at Ernie Pyle and Van Duyn Elementary Schools with the help of a grant from the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana.  Many more people from beyond Clinton First also began volunteering their time to pack/deliver the bags and make trips to pick up food. 5,480 total bags, 606+ volunteer hours.
  • 2013-14 school year— Central, Ernie Pyle and Van Duyn approximately 230 students
  • 2014-15 school year—Central, Ernie Pyle and Van Duyn approximately 220 students,  7,676 bags, 846+ volunteer hours
  • 2015-16 school year—Central, Ernie Pyle and Van Duyn approximately 220 students 7,352 bags, 881+ volunteer hours.  Nutritional/health information or activity inserts were added to the bags once per month.

 

 

 

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