This week, nearly 30,000 students walk into new classrooms in the Lake Washington School District. One may hope these kids will be excited to be at school, ready to learn, and equipped with what they need to succeed. But thousands of these children may struggle with the worry of when they will be able to eat.
In LWSD, around 3,300 students qualified for free or reduced-price meals in the 2017-2018 academic year. For these kids, going back to school may mean going back to a regular meal schedule. These programs can be a relief to struggling families, but can create concern over what will happen when school is not in session, including weekends.
Pantry Packs is a grassroots organization that provides hand-packed bags of shelf-stable food to more than 830 students in LWSD every Friday during the school year. In the last school year alone, they discreetly delivered 26,000 packs of weekend food to children without consistent access to nutritious meals at home.
Lake Washington Schools Foundation provides the administrative backbone to support this all-volunteer organization, and this fall, Pantry Packs is a featured beneficiary of its Start Strong campaign.
For more information about the Start Strong campaign, visit https://www.lwsf.org/startstrong.html.