Chicago Chapter

Did you know nearly 300,000 kids living in Chicagoland are food insecure? That is one in seven kids who eats meals at school during the week but is without affordable, healthy food on Saturday and Sunday. The consequences are much more than a growling stomach. Hunger can cause many physical health problems. It can shorten a child’s attention span, lower their IQ, and keep them from making good grades.

That’s where Blessings in a Backpack can help.

Our mission is simple: we provide food on the weekends for school-aged children who might otherwise go hungry.

Our Impact During the 2022/23 School Year

The Chicago Chapter, launched in 2020, works to raise awareness of childhood hunger and improve the lives of local children who depend on school meals as their primary source of nutrition, by providing food when school meals are not available.

During the 2022/23 school year, we distributed 211,200 bags of ready-to-eat food to 5,389 school-aged children at 68 program locations across Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties.

For more information, contact Dan Summins at or (312) 823-0406.

Jenner Academy of the Arts is one of many schools Blessings in a Backpack supports weekly in the Chicagoland area. In this video, produced by the Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM), Principal Robert Croston and Blessings Coordinator Heidi Wagman give us a sense of how Blessings in a Backpack impacts its students.