Sams Backpack Program

Weekend Food for Kids in Need
Posted on 11/01/2023
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The Sam Adams Backpack Program, through the Michigan Gateway Foundation, provides weekend food for students who are in need. 60% of Sam Adams Elementary Students qualify for free and reduced lunch and without school meals these students could experience food insecurity on weekends and school breaks.

This program delivers weekend food bags on Fridays to students who then place them in their backpacks to take home. The bags include six shelf-stable meals and snacks, such as oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, ramen, fruit cups, and cereal.

The Backpack Program also offers food vouchers from Harding's Market in Cassopolis to help families during extended school closures such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring breaks.

The program has a tremendous impact for a minimal investment. Each bag costs $8 and feeds a hungry student for the entire weekend.  The need for this program is significant, in 2021-2022 362 students were served, and in 2022-2023, it served 517 students.

Families report that the help is greatly appreciated. As one parent said, "My family would like to thank the food bag program for blessing us for many years with the food vouchers, it really helps us out to get groceries and a few times I got these vouchers when I didn't even know how I was going to get is much appreciated."

The Sam Adams Backpack Program is a vital resource for students in need. It provides them with food to ensure they have the energy they need to learn and succeed.   We are grateful to the seven local Churches and Organizations who raise funds, shop, and pack the food to go home.

How can you help? 

For more information on The Sam Adams Back Pack Program please contact the program Chair, Barbara Strlekar at [email protected].   

Donations may be mailed to the Michigan Gateway Foundation, 111 Days Avenue, Buchanan, MI. 49107, with attn: Backpack Program.  

Online donations are welcome via where you can select Sam Adams Backpack Program as the designated campaign to receive your donation.