One of our key missions is the Backpack Buddies program coordinated by Jim and Louise Anderson. People help pack and deliver food for students in need at View Acres Elementary and Lot Whitcomb Elementary. In 2017, we served about 100 children per week for the entire school year! The food that these children receive gives them the extra nutrition they are needing for the weekend. The cost is about $2.45 per child per week. You are a blessing to them and their families. One student wrote in a thank-you card, “The Backpack Buddies are really helpful when we are running out of food. I love the food!”
OHPC History of Backpack Buddies
We became aware of this program in the North Clackamas School District when the Adult Spiritual Nurture (ASN) committee asked the Mission Team for suggestions for the Advent Conspiracy in the fall of 2009. Advent Conspiracy, a class led by Susann Smith on Monday evenings, was a series about giving to help others, rather than Christmas gifts with little or no meaning, merely contributing to materialism. Emma Fortier brought information about Backpack Buddies to the attention of the mission team and the Advent Conspiracy group. We agreed to give it a try. Sandy Osborn created a promotional poster, and Christmas cards to explain the alternative gifts to family and friends. The alternative cards were sold to develop the fund.
Ten people came to the first planning meeting in November 2009, funds were raised and food was donated. We began supplying weekend food for about 30 children at Concord School in January 2010. The bags of food go home with children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, if the parents have signed a permission slip. For most of the 2012-13 school year Oak Hills has served 93 children. Each bag contains two protein items, two servings of fruit, two 100% juice boxes, and two snack items with protein.
Many people at Oak Hills are involved as donors, shoppers, packers, and delivery crew.
Program page at North Clackamas Schools
In the News at Oregon Food Bank