Everyone is invited to participate.
What is Operation Backpack?
Each week, Operation Backpack provides backpacks filled with kid-friendly, healthy food to 3,500 St. Louis area children who rely on the free and reduced price school lunch program and might otherwise go hungry all weekend. Full backpacks are distributed to children on Fridays, the empty packs are returned to schools on Mondays, repacked with food at Operation Backpack’s warehouse in University City on Wednesdays, and the cycle continues.
Why is this important?
Nearly 4 million children in the United States live in food insecure households. Food insecurity (not knowing where or when your next meal will come) has serious academic, health, social, and psychological effects on children. In the St. Louis metro region, 200,000 children struggle with food insecurity and their ranks are growing as more families face difficult economic circumstances.
How can I donate?
In the tradition of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Fontbonne community is serving the dear neighbor and collecting donated food* and funds to Operation Backpack. Blue food donation barrels are located in academic buildings on the Clayton and Brentwood campuses. Fontbonne is also conducting a virtual food drive online. Through the organization’s low operating expenses and bulk food purchases, Operation Backpack is able to turn a $1 donation into $20 worth of food. Just $5 fills a backpack with food for a weekend.
In conjunction with the Dedicated Semester Committee and Ad Club, there will be food drive donation tables in DSAC at Griffinsanity (formerly Late Night) on Friday, Nov. 2, from 6 – 9 p.m. and on Monday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Students who donate either food or funds at those events may enter to win raffle prizes from sponsors including Pointer’s Pizza, the Fontbonne Athletic Department, Smoothie King, My Daddy’s Cheesecake, Einstein Brothers Bagels, and Bommarito of Hazelwood. Additional sponsors include Gary Rogers State Farm Insurance and The Great Frame Up of South County.
Fontbonne’s Fall Food Drive runs through December 1. Donate online.
Special thanks to the students enrolled in Advertising 496 for promoting this year's food drive.
*The most wanted food items include canned tuna or chicken, soups and chili, granola bars, peanut butter and jelly, fruit cups in 100 percent juice, juice and juice boxes (also 100 percent juice), baked beans, canned ravioli, individually packaged snack crackers and canned vegetables. Operation Backpack asks that the foods be healthy and kid-friendly because the children often have to prepare meals and snacks for themselves. The organizations also stresses no glass and no perishable items.