This project will provide "PowerSacks" of food to 1250 low-income Denver, Colorado elementary students at 8 schools to help bridge the hunger gap these kids experience over the weekends. Each PowerSack a student takes home on Friday is designed to serve two meals to a family of four.
Every weekend, over 26,000 Denver Public School students at over 50 schools from low-income households are faced with food insecurity. Many of these students come to school on Monday with stomachaches, headaches and other problems from a lack of nutritious food or any food over the weekend. Hungry children are unable to learn and function in the classroom. At each of the schools we serve, 90% or more of the students are eligible to free and reduced lunch programs.
By providing each student with a PowerSack of food to take home for the weekend, we help eliminate some of the traditional barriers that prevent participation in this type of program. Because every child receives a bag, there is less stigma. Because we are not an opt-in program, language barriers, pride and neglect are no longer reasons why children are denied access to the program. Having food over the weekend helps to nourish the students and helps them to feel secure and cared for.
The schools we serve notice a difference in the way students feel on Fridays and Mondays. The fear and uncertainty on Friday afternoons has been replaced by relief and happiness that there will be food to eat over the weekend between the lunches students receive at school. On Mondays, students return to school better prepared to learn and focus, giving them a better chance at long term success. 1250 students will benefit from the distribution of PowerSacks through the success of this project.