FHGE's Backpack Program provides food on the weekends to students who depend upon school-based meals, helping to reduce food insecurity and hunger in our school community. Meeting these basic needs not only helps the children and their parents, but also helps school administrators and teachers keep their focus on educational goals. We have learned that by providing these bags of food, the children arrive at school able and ready to learn!

Our Backpack Program is supported by The Little Red Wagon Program, a neighborhood food collection organization, as well as by Nourish NC. One porch at a time, LRW volunteers collect food five times a year and bring the food to school to be distributed to the identified students. Students are identified and referred by school officials and are completely anonymous; donors and volunteers do not know which children receive assistance.
Bags are handed out discreetly by designated school personnel to the teacher, who then finds an opportunity to slip it into the child’s backpack. If a child does not have a backpack, we will provide one.

All food is non-perishable and easily consumable. We make every effort to combine nutrition with kid-friendly foods. Each bag contains 7 meals and 2 snacks. Suggested foods include: Canned pasta with meat, Canned tuna in spring water, High protein granola bars or trail mix bars, Canned fruit in light syrup/juice, Canned veggies, Jars of peanut butter, Applesauce (individual servings), Boxes of macaroni & cheese, Instant oatmeal (single servings), Cereal boxes (single servings).

Ways to get involved:

* Be a Donor
- $150 feeds a FHGE child for 36 weekends (split this with a friend!)
- $100 feeds a FHGE child for the summer
- $40 feeds a FHGE child for Winter Break and Spring Break
- ANY amount makes a difference! Checks should be made payable to Forest Hills PTA with “Backpack Program” in the memo line.

* Be a "Porch"
Five times a year we collect food from neighborhood "porches" to be distributed at school. You can donate as much or as little as you like, and you don't even need to be home for pick-up!

* Be a Street Leader

Five times a year volunteers go around their neighborhoods collecting food donations from their selected porches. Volunteers pick the day and time that is convenient for them and coordinate directly with their donors. On the designated drop-off days (see below), street leaders bring all the collected food to FHGE to be sorted and packed.
If you're interested in starting a collection program in your neighborhood, please download helpful flyers and documents here.

* Be a Packer/Sorter

Several times a year (see below) we need volunteers to help sort the donated foods at FHGE and store everything for use throughout the year. We also need volunteers throughout the year to pack the food into bags to be sent home on Fridays.

        2016/2017 Dates coming soon!

For more information, contact:
Chase Shelton, info@redwagonprogram.com