Bridges Backpack Food Program
Epworth UMC is a lead participant in the Bridges Food Backpack Program.
We believe that when a child is fed, they are equipped to learn, grow and imagine a future filled with opportunity. Childhood hunger has an impact in our communities. During the school year more than 33,000 children across North Dakota qualify for and greatly rely on the federal free and reduced lunch program to meet their daily nutritional needs. Nearly one third of Valley City students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. On weekends, many of these children struggle with hunger.
Hunger amongst our children can have lifelong and extremely costly consequences. Hungry children suffer physical, emotional and developmental impairment. They are sick and hospitalized more often. Hungry children don't learn as well at school, which in turn, limits their potential and productivity as adults. Adults who experienced hunger as children are often not as well prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, or socially to perform in today's work environment.
The Bridges BackPack Food Program is making a difference in the lives of Valley City elementary students.
• Schools have distributed a parental permission slip inviting families to participate in the program. Additional forms are available from your School Counselor.
• Food includes 4 snacks and 3 meals for the student. It is child-friendly and nonperishable.
• Food is discretely given to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation.
We began distribution in October of 2014, with 168 children receiving weekly backpacks.
How can you help?
• Spread the word to neighbors or friends who would benefit from this program.
• Donate. $5 covers the cost of one bag of food. $190 covers the cost of food for one student for the school year. Donations of any size make a difference.
Epworth UMC is the storage and distribution site for this program. There are currently 9 Valley City congregations and several service clubs and organizations who support this ministry through giving of their time and resources.
You can donate to this ministry through the offering plate or through the Giving page on this website.