Feeding America Backpack program

Filling Backpacks and Hungry Tummies

One in six American children may not know where they will find their next meal.* Kitiana, a ten-year-old from Springfield, Missouri, is one of the children who face hunger.

"When I was really young I walked in the kitchen thinking, 'what's for breakfast?' But there was nothing in the cabinets, and I thought, 'oh no,'” recalls Kitiana. “My mother caught me digging in the cabinets and said ‘Sorry, we can't have anything for breakfast, lunch or dinner today.' So we just snacked a little. It made me feel so hungry. It felt pretty bad."

Now Kitiana and her brother Thomas, a first-grader, live with their grandma. Their grandmother used to work, but had to stop after adopting her grandchildren. Kitiana and her brother take food home every week through a BackPack Program, one of the many child hunger-focused initiatives that Red Nose Day helps to fund through Feeding America®.

"My favorite thing in the backpack is the spaghetti and chocolate milk," Kitiana says. "It makes me feel fantastic to bring the backpack home!"

Kitiana explains that because her grandmother sometimes gets sick and can't cook a lot of food, she has the children grab something from their backpacks to help when they’re hungry.

"I'm glad this is here [the BackPack Program] because we have enough now, but one day we could run out of money and run out of food, but at least we'll have things from our bags."

The Feeding America network is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, working to connect people with food and end hunger. A donation of a single dollar helps provide at least ten meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. Money raised through Red Nose Day helps to support programs that specifically feed children who struggle with hunger in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

*According to the USDA, Household Food Security in the United States in 2016