You Ask, We Answer: BackSacks


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by Megan Ellis

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for taking the time to ask questions about our BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids program. Below I’ve answered some questions submitted about the program. Feel free to ask more below, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page.

1) Do you provide BackSacks over breaks, like fall break?

We provide a BackSack to children enrolled in the program for every week school is in session during the academic year. Since the program’s focus is weekends, we don’t provide extra bags for longer school breaks.

Through our School-Based Pantry program, students and parents are able to shop and stock up on food and toiletries in anticipation of the longer breaks. In addition, our Summer Meals for Kids program provides a free meal to kids during the summer vacation months.

BackSack components 7.31.14

Components to a BackSack

2) How many servings of fresh produce are in each BackSack?

The program’s success depends largely on the ability of schools and community partners to store a month’s worth of food at a time. For that reason, everything that comes in a BackSack is shelf-stable and never needs refrigeration. It does, however, meet 50% or more of a child’s Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for a weekend in seven nutritional categories, including calories, protein, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. All the items are also kid-tested and approved and are easy for kids to prepare and enjoy.

Thanks so much for these questions we received about our BackSack program. If you ever have any questions at all, feel free to comment on our blog, post to our Facebook timeline, or tweet us at @GleanersFBIndy.

#MondayMotivation: The Impact You Can Have


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by Harvey Bananas and Captain Drumstick

Our newest member - Captain Drumstick now joins the #MondayMotivation crew with Harvey Bananas!

Our newest member – Captain Drumstick now joins the #MondayMotivation crew with Harvey Bananas!

Here is a quick story from a Gleaners staff person:

“I spoke with a 44 year old man who seemed to have lost everything. He became handicapped and was not able to do the job he had had before. His income continued to drop, and he is currently experiencing money problems. His family life fell apart and a divorce followed. His wife gave him custody of their two sons, one with a serious heart condition. He is struggling to raise his sons on $728.00 a month and is hoping that SNAP will provide him with a little more money so that he can get food for his boys.”

How quickly life can take a turn. As much as we plan, as much as we save, and as much as we look to build a future for ourselves and those around us, we can never predict what will happen. No one is immune.

Heading into fall and holiday season, there will be plenty of ways for you to get involved and help those who are in need, and we’d like to highlight two ways you can help in just a few days…

1) Q95’s Operation Cans!

Operation Cans

Check it out. One of the area’s funniest radio shows is putting a serious hit on the fight against hunger by asking you to fill up a truck on Friday! All day you can come out to the Greenwood Walmart (1133 N Emerson Ave, Greenwood, IN 46143) and add to the cause.

2) Broad Ripple Zombie Walk

This fantastic annual event just got a logo facelift…

BR Zombie Walk 2014

But it doesn’t change how much fun you are going to have. Bring a can, eat a brain, and enjoy zombie prom all in one evening! We never knew just how charitable the walking dead can be until this event came around.

Have any questions about the above events! Leave a question in the comments section below or tweet us at @GleanersFBIndy.

Do you have questions about our BackSacks program?


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by Willie Matis

The past couple days, we have been asking for any questions you may have about our BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids Program.

This program is aimed at providing enough nutritious food to students in grades K-6 to last them the entire weekend so that they are equipped to learn when they come back to school on Monday.

Over 10,000 students are served every Friday during the school year, and the program covers 230 schools throughout Gleaners’ 21 county service area.

We hope you keep the questions coming! In one week, our Youth Programs Coordinator Megan will answer them.

Meanwhile… check out a few BackSacks Kids stories as told through this video.

Have questions about the BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids Program? List them below in the comments section!

#MondayMotivation: A Great Start to the Gleaners New Year


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A fantastic start to the new fiscal year. It featured volunteers’ time, donors’ treasures, and even some great talents. CHECK IT OUT…

Lots of great stuff for #IndyDoDay

So many groups came to spend time fighting hunger!

Some groups even brought their leaders, and we had fun putting them to work!

A great 2 days overall.

And we can’t forget about the food drive at Yolk downtown hosted by Kyle and Rachel from RadioNOW 100.9.

Or the MILK drive held at Kelsay Farms on Saturday

And here is a big shoutout to EVERYONE holding food drives… we could not impact the number of Hoosiers we do without each and every one of you.

Family finds security in School-Based Pantry


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by Willie Matis

One of the mothers of a school family came to me in tears.

Her husband had lost his job and has been unable to find work. She just took on a minimum wage job to help cover the bills, and she said that she has never asked for any assistance. She couldn’t think of anywhere else to turn.

I helped her with her request for uniforms, and then I asked if she was in need of food. At first she was reluctant, but I quickly explained that utilizing the pantry was like shopping. She agreed. After shopping, she again burst into tears, hugged me tight, and said what a blessing the food pantry items were to her family.

The School-Based Pantry Program has now extended into 50 locations in all 21 counties served by Gleaners. Staff and teachers at the schools share stories very similar to the one above quite often. One thing we notice is that teachers are able to connect more with families in need when they have the resources to provide food.

Thank you to all who have supported Gleaners. Because of you, our School-Based Pantry Program was able to expand, meaning many more students will be able to focus on their studies this school year rather than working to help their families.

#HungerAction Month comes to a close next Tuesday, September 30th; however, there are plenty of ways to stay involved.

1) Vote for Gleaners This will give Gleaners a chance at $60,000 to be put right back into your neighborhoods.

2) TRIPLE YOUR GIFT Your $1 will be matched with $2 from Bank of America. Triple your gift and triple your impact today.

Be the difference. Today.

Be the difference. Today.


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