Kids EmPower Pack is Missoula Food Bank & Community Center’s weekend nutrition program helping students to stay healthy & nourished when school is not in session.

Each Friday, a bag of food is tucked into the backpack of school children who experience chronic hunger over the weekends. This vital nutrition program reaches students in 30 different schools in the Missoula area, Lolo, Bonner, Frenchtown, Clinton, and Alberton, ranging from preschool to high school.

Kids in the program are identified by school officials who recognize behaviors & circumstances of children living with food insecurity at home. Some of those behaviors include hoarding food from lunch on Fridays, nervousness or anxiety for the weekends and disruptive, unfocused behavior on Monday mornings.

Each EmPower Pack contains 2 entrees, 2 breakfasts, hearty snacks, fresh fruits and milk and is assembled by over 650 volunteers. Each Kids EmPower Pack costs $4.00 and every dollar donated supports this program.

In the 2016-2017 school year, Kids EmPower Pack was helping 769 local kids each weekend. In the 2017-2018 school year, the program experienced a 25% growth in need through expansion of schools & better identification of kids who need it. In this latest school year, we served 963 kids in our community every weekend.

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This program is currently in the following schools:

Family Resource Centers manage enrollment for weekend food. If this program could benefit your family, we encourage you to contact your school Family Resource Center (FRC) or FIT Coordinator.

To learn more about this program, contact Jamie Breidenbach, Program Manager 406.549.0543, ext. 213.