National Impact

Why we do it:

Did you know that 13.4 MILLION CHILDREN* are experiencing food insecurity? That’s one in five American children who may be struggling with access to food.

The consequences of hunger are much more than a growling stomach. Poor nutrition can result in a weaker immune system, increased hospitalization, lower IQ, shorter attention spans, and lower academic achievement. Children are fed during the school week by federal government programs. We want to make sure they’re getting nutritional meals over the weekend, too.

Blessings in a Backpack is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. During the 2022–2023 school year, we distributed more than 3.3 million bags of ready-to-eat food to children at 1,270 schools in 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Since 2009, Blessings in a Backpack has provided 30 million hunger-free weekends for more than 1 million children nationwide. 

Our Structure:

We are a national organization made up of eight regional chapters and more than 1,200 community-driven programs. We share the goal of preventing childhood hunger on the weekends for the kids who need us most.

How much does it cost?

On average, $175* will feed one child on the weekends for one 38-week school year through the Blessings in a Backpack programin Chicago, the cost is $160. The results: nourished kids ready to learn. Food is an essential building block, and in this case, it is truly a blessing, especially to a hungry child!

Visit the Get Involved section of our website to find out the various ways in which you can help Blessings in a Backpack feed more children.

*As we all know, the challenging economic climate continues. Rising food prices, gas, transportation costs, supply chain issues, and inflation have dramatically impacted the expense of feeding children on the weekends. The sad reality is that egg prices have doubled while cereal, meat, and bread have risen nearly 25% since 2021, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The result is that we need support now more than ever. For the upcoming school year, we have negotiated pricing to $175 per child or $4.66 every school-year weekend; pricing will remain fixed for the next two years.

The facts about hunger:

The Facts About Hunger:

What does it mean to be food-insecure?
A food-insecure household has limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.

Childhood Hunger in the United States*

  • 13.4 million American children face food insecurity. That is one in five.
  • 17 million of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2022.
  • Household food insecurity affected 6.4 million of households with children in 2022.
  • 44.2 million people in the United States are food insecure.
  • 100% of counties in the U.S. have food insecurity.
  • 16% of Black households face hunger, compared to 13% of Latino households and 6% of white households.

*Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, 2022