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Tuesday November 25th 2014

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Community Outreach:Backpack Program at Bay Area Food Bank

BAY AREA FOOD BANK’S CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM SUPPORTS THE NEW SCHOOLYEAR
*Press Release*

Volunteers From Pensacola State College Will Gather to Pack Meals for the Backpack Program That Helps Pensacola Area Chronically Hungry Children

Bay Area Food Bank, recently featured on NBC’s Today Show, has helped feed families hurt by the oil spill, underserved rural communities and senior citizens in need and provided disaster relief to thousands. The organization is supporting the new school year. Volunteers from Pensacola State College will gather to pack meals for the Backpack Program, a child nutrition campaign designed to help area chronically hungry children, at the local Bay Area Food Bank on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 5pm.  The Bay Area Food Bank is located at 5709 Industrial Blvd, Milton, FL 32583. The volunteers are local students from Pensacola State College.

The Backpack Program is designed to help students at schools that have a high incidence of children in need. Each backpack is filled with enough food for six meals and two snacks and distributed to children in need on Friday afternoons. With the child’s privacy protected, the food is stored discreetly in a backpack and will serve to keep the child nourished over the weekend. The typical backpack contains a variety of child-friendly, easy to prepare food usually including protein and fruit juices. The cost is approximately $3.50 for 2 to 5 pounds of food.

In an op-ed feature for the Washington Post, First Lady Michelle Obama writes, “Over the past year, I have met with community leaders and stakeholders from across the country — parents and teachers, school board members and principals, suppliers and food service workers — about the importance of making sure every child in America has access to nutritious meals at school. They all want what’s best for our children, and they all know how critical it is that we keep making progress.”

Research indicates that even mild under-nutrition experienced by young children during critical periods of growth impacts the behavior of children and their overall cognitive development according to the Links between Nutrition and Cognitive Development of Children, 1998 Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

The food bank, which is on track to deliver a total of 13 million pounds of food this year, was one of four organizations that were selected as finalists to compete for the Pepsi Refresh Project grant.  The bank covers 24 counties in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle.

The voting ended July 6th at 9p.m. EST.  In addition to the Bay Area Food Bank, three other charities were awarded $50,000 grants.

The Panhandle branch of the Bay Area Food Bank is located in Milton, Florida, and distributes more than 3 million pounds of food annually to seven counties in northwest Florida, including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Washington and Holmes.

For more information about the Bay Area Food Bank, visit www.bayareafoodbank.org.

For more information about Chain Reaction, visit www.mychainreaction.org.

For more information, call (850) 434-9095 or visit  www.ideaworksusa.com.