Background of Food for Backpacks
In listening to the neighborhood needs, the LEAD team (Living Everyday As Disciples) at Grace Lutheran Church discovered that just across the street at Hawthorne Elementary School there were children who were in need of food for the weekend. They were coming to school on Monday, hungry and not having the attentive energy to learn. The church community at Grace began to sponsor a weekend Food for Backpacks program for 33 students. After asking for approval from the school district and with the help of the school social worker, packets of nutritious basic food were delivered and confidentially given to the needy students on Fridays. These packets included 2 breakfasts, 2 snacks and 2 dinners. Preparation was very minimal and the foods were healthy.

A Positive Response and the Opportunity to Help Even More Kids
We had an overwhelming positive response to this program in the 2017-2018 school year. Social workers from other schools asked
if the program could be expanded to their schools as well. Grace Lutheran organized a community of churches meeting, resulting in a very positive response. Church sponsors are now in place for all four elementary schools and Southwest Middle School. This is so exciting as we see the Holy Spirit at work right here in Albert Lea.

The cost for the food packets is $3.35 per student each week. The need at each school is different. We are estimating serving a total of 433 students in the 5 schools. This is 25% of the K-5 schools and 8% of Southwest Middle School. The total cost would be around $58,000 for the school year. There are 8 churches coming together to support this Food for Backpacks Program.

Helping Those in Need, Right Here at Home
Your generous donations and grants are helping to fund this program. We are asking area businesses and service groups for financial support as well. Any donation from your company would be so welcomed. We are blessed by the opportunity to address the issue of hunger right here in our own community.

How to Help
If you are able to donate to this effort or if you have questions, please contact David Drommerhausen at 507-438-0790 or or click DONATE here and then select Hawthorne Backpack from the list of Funds which appears.

Thank you for considering this important cause.