We purchase our food from US Foods. CaroMont Health has generously allowed us to purchase the food wholesale from US Foods through CaroMont's Premier purchase agreement.
Students receive foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. These include cereals, milk, juice, soup, pastas, fruits, vegetables, pudding, crackers and cookies.
Because the Gaston County Schools serve as our distribution method to students, we are not able to provide weekend food during the summer.
The costs varies from year to year based on the fluctuation of food costs, but is approximately $350 per student for the school year.
Teachers, school counselors, school social workers, principals and school nurses identify students who are most likely to be hungry on the weekend. A parent/guardian must sign a permission form and indicate any food allergies. The program is able to handle some allergies within our menus.
In the 2019-2020 school year, the program served 911 students at its peak.
We partner with community churches, organizations, businesses and families who fund a predetermined number of students for the school year. We also rely on individual donations, fundraisers and grants.
Each school is partnered with a local church, community organization or family that picks up the food each month from our warehouse. They pack the food bags and deliver to their designated school weekly to be distributed to students on Fridays.
You can make a donation through our website at BWFPGC.com. You can also send a check to : BackPack Weekend Food Program, PO Box 551030, Gastonia, NC 28055. We participate in the Community Foundation Run each year, and you can make a donation through that fundraiser, which will be partially matched.
Near the end of each school year, partners, school coordinators, teachers and students' parents/guardians receive a survey from the BWFP asking them to evaluate the program. These responses are used to address any issues that may exist, confirm that the program is working as intended and as data for grant requests.