Who we are
The Bremerton Backpack Brigade is licensed 501(c)3 non-profit. We are endorsed by the Bremerton School District, governed by a Board of Directors, supported by local businesses & civic organizations, as well as many individuals. Our team is comprised solely of volunteers committed to helping fight food insecurities in the Bremerton community.
Children have more difficulty learning when they are hungry, additionally they are sick more frequently when proper nutrition is not a part of their daily routine. Volunteers and community organizations working together are making a difference in the lives of hungry children in Bremerton, one backpack of food at a time, allowing these children to come to school on Monday morning without the burden of hunger, ready to learn and thrive.
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How our Backpacks come together
Each week our volunteers start by collecting the previous weeks returned backpacks from local schools. After collecting bags are organized and prepared for the next pack out ensuring bags are in good condition, tags are legible and that we have a bag for each family.
Another group of volunteers gather to start preparing our fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes this includes cutting veggies and putting them into ziplock baggies, or breaking down larger packages in to bags for individual kids.
On pack out day our volunteers work to pack each of our families backpacks with foods to help keep bellies full over the weekend. This can include up to 200 backpacks!
Finally our backpacks are picked up and delivered to local schools to be passed out to kids. By packing in backpacks we help to keep the donated food concealed in a bag that blends with every other bag at school.
What's in the Backpacks?
Though the contents of our backpacks change weekly based on the food products we have available to us at any given time, a typical backpack might contain the following items:
Bag of pasta
Macaroni & Cheese
Can of Chili
Bananas (1 per kid)
Carrots and Celery (baggie per kid)
Ranch dressing mix
Why We Do This?
Due to homelessness, financial struggles and an array of other issues prevalent today, food provided at school often make up the most nutritious meals some children will receive all day. For some, those meals may even be the only ones they will receive that day.
Area teachers are increasingly concerned at the growing number of students arriving to school each Monday morning with hungry bellies. This is where we come in.
The Bremerton Backpack Brigade exists to address that concern!