Learn how we got started and how we’ve grown to impact thousands of kids with brand new, brand-name food every weekend.
IT ALL BEGAN WITH 10 HUNGRY STUDENTS
at Will Rogers Elementary School in Amarillo. Dyron and Kelly Howell discovered Amarillo was the largest city west of Dallas without a weekend backpack program. And yet, more than 3,200 children in the Amarillo Independent School District relied only on the meals served to them at school for their weekly food. That meant hundreds of children spent their nights and weekends hungry.
Determined to find a way to address this need, the Howells assembled 10 bags of food that could be prepared without adult supervision. On Friday, September 3, 2010, the first 10 Snack Pak 4 Kids® recipients received a bag containing enough food to get them through the weekend.
Today, Snack Pak 4 Kids® (SP4K) has grown to serve thousands of kids in multiple school districts all over Texas. Our Snack Paks always contain brand new, brand-name food.
Thanks to our generous partnerships and a steady stream of volunteers, 100% of all donations given to SP4K are used to purchase food for hungry children.
How does Snack Pak 4® Kids work?
Throughout the month, volunteers pack brand new, brand-name food items in bags. Each week volunteers deliver these bags to participating schools. School staff then place the bags in the lockers or backpacks to be discreetly sent home with students each Friday.
The educators we work with see first-hand how hunger negatively impacts children in the classroom. Students receiving the bags have been identified by teachers, parents or other school staff members as living in a “food-insecure” household, which means these families don’t always know the source of their next meal. The SP4K program feeds each K-8 student and any siblings at home not old enough to attend school.
We have expanded the program to serve high school students with the Snack Shak program. Snack Shak allows students to select from a menu of over 30 brand new, brand-name items. High school students can access the program via their school’s website anonymously, and without a teacher referral. This program is student-led and student-run on our high school campuses.
Our Snack Shak program has grown to include numerous high schools across the state of Texas, benefiting over 600 students weekly.