Grand Junction is home to a remarkable program making a significant impact on the lives of underprivileged children in the community. The Kids Aid Backpack Program is a local non-profit organization dedicated to providing essential resources and support to children who face food insecurity. By supplying bags filled with nutritious meals, the program aims to empower these young individuals and ensure their well-being.
The Kids Aid Backpack Program was established with a simple yet powerful objective: to ensure that no child in Mesa County goes hungry. In 2004, as he was dropping his daughter off at school, Mike Berry encountered a little girl that was crying on the playground. He discovered that she was cold, tired from sleeping in her car the night before, and hungry. This interaction planted the seed for Kids Aid. Mike wondered, “Why isn’t someone doing something about kids in our community going hungry?” Then he realized he was that someone, so he got to work. The program is now available in over 90 locations serving preschool through college-aged students, with approximately 175 volunteers proudly assembling and delivering an average of 2,400 bags a week!
The organization collaborates with local schools and community partners to identify children who are at risk of food insecurity. These children often rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition and may face hunger during weekends and school breaks. To address this issue, the program provides nutritious meals that are discreetly distributed to children in need.
The Kids Aid Backpack program is a shining example of how the Grand Junction community rallies together to support its most vulnerable members. Through generous donations from local businesses, individuals, and organizations, the Kids Aid Backpack Program is able to sustain its operations. Volunteers play a crucial role in packing the food, ensuring that each bag is filled with nutritious food items appropriate for the children’s age groups. This collective effort demonstrates the community’s commitment to nurturing its future generations.
The impact of the Kids Aid Backpack Program extends far beyond just providing food. By alleviating hunger, the program creates a positive ripple effect in children’s lives. Proper nutrition enables them to focus better in school, improving their academic performance and overall well-being. Moreover, the program helps foster a sense of belonging and support among children who may otherwise feel marginalized. By addressing their basic needs, the program empowers these young individuals to dream bigger and reach their full potential.
The Backpack Program has touched the lives of numerous children, leaving an indelible mark on their futures. Participants of the program have given testimonials such as, “My parents don’t make a lot of money. With six people living in one house our food supply drops quickly. This helps greatly.” Another one is, “not having to worry about food helps me focus on bills and my children’s happiness.”
This program is a beacon of hope for children facing food insecurity. By addressing their basic nutritional needs, the program not only improves their physical health but also instills a sense of belonging, empowerment, and hope for a brighter future. Through the dedicated efforts of volunteers, donors, and community partners, this remarkable program continues to uplift and inspire the young hearts of Mesa County, ensuring that no child goes hungry.
In 2004, as he was dropping off his daughter, Mike Berry encountered a little girl that was crying on the playground. She was cold, tired and hungry. This interaction planted the seed for Kids Aid.