BackPack Program



In collaboration with schools in our 16 county service area, the BackPack Program provides chronically hungry children with backpacks filled with non-perishable, nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.



The BackPack Program was started in 2004 with 100 backpacks being given out at 5 schools in the Waterloo School District.  During the 2018-2019 school year, we provided over 125,000 bags of food to kids at 141 schools in 16 counties.

Chronically hungry students are identified by staff members at participating schools.  Each food sack is pre-assembled at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank by volunteers throughout the month.  

Volunteers and staff of the Northeast Iowa Food Bank then delivers pre-assembled food sacks for those children to take home on Friday afternoons.

Interested in becoming a BackPack site?  Click here the application and information packet link below.

To learn more about the BackPack program, contact Susan Kraus, Director of Network Relations, at 319-235-0507.

To volunteer to pack BackPacks, contact Dan Bohnker, Group Volunteer Coordinator, at 319-235-0507.