Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies program to home-deliver food to district's vulnerable children

Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies program delivers food to the homes of GISD students most at risk of food insecurity. (Courtesy Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies Program)
Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies program delivers food to the homes of GISD students most at risk of food insecurity. (Courtesy Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies Program)

Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies program delivers food to the homes of GISD students most at risk of food insecurity. (Courtesy Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies Program)

Image description
The Georgetown ISD Backpack Buddies Program is working to ensure all students' nutritious-meal needs are met as the district remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Backpack Program serves GISD students at risk of experiencing food insecurity over weekends and school holidays. In partnering with the national Feeding America initiative, the GISD program currently serves nearly 1,000 students, who are nominated by campus counselors, according to an April 2 news release.

Typically, every
Friday, Backpack Buddies students pick up a pack of six nutritious, nonperishable food items. The items are equivalent to four meals, including main entrees, cereal, milk, fruit, vegetables, and snack items. On Mondays, students bring the empty pack back to campus to a designated spot, where it is then taken to be refilled by Backpack Buddies volunteers.

But with students not in school, the program has switched to home deliveries, the release said.


Now, the program’s volunteers and the district's transportation and nutrition services departments are working together to develop a plan to make at-home deliveries for the 998 students currently being served by Backpack Buddies, it said.


Backpack Buddies is run entirely on volunteer support under the leadership of its six-member board of directors, the release said. It operates out of a space located in the former Carver Elementary School, provided at no cost by GISD, it said.

Currently, Backpack Buddies still depends on volunteers to pack nearly 1,000 six-item food packs each week and load them onto buses to be delivered on Thursdays and Fridays. The volunteers work in groups of no more than 5 or 6 people, following state guidelines for social distancing, the release said.

“Ensuring that our students have access to healthy meals is as important as access to learning resources and support,” Superintendent Fred Brent said in the release. “Backpack Buddies has been a partner in that for a long time. Through leadership and serving, they truly support our mission.”

Donations can be made here.