Backpack Program

To remove hunger as a barrier to a good education, the Backpack Program provides weekend nourishment to students in Catawba County who are hungry on the weekends. We provide each child with dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and snacks each weekend throughout the school year.

Our program works with all local elementary schools and several middle and high schools throughout the county to provide children with a backpack filled with food every Friday during the school year. We seek to assist children who participate in the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program or families who temporarily find themselves choosing between food and other living expenses. Parents may apply for the program through their child’s school counselor.

Local churches, civic organizations, and businesses serve as the volunteers who pack the bags each week and deliver them to the schools. We operate from a warehouse facility located at 1925 Tate Boulevard in Hickory, which serves as our distribution center and is where nearly half of the weekly food bags are packed. The rest are packed at numerous locations throughout the county.

We have a direct relationship with local food distributors to purchase program food at cost in bulk rather than paying retail. This program is primarily funded through donations received by individuals, civic organizations, churches, businesses and the efforts of several annual fundraising events and would not be possible without the volunteer commitment and generous contributions of local citizens.

It only costs $120 to sponsor a child in need to receive a backpack every Friday throughout the school year!

Donate Now

You may also send donations to:
Catawba County Social Services
PO Box 669
Newton, NC 28658

Please include your contact information to receive a letter as confirmation for tax purposes.

It only takes an hour for a group of 10 to pack over 200 bags! Contact our program coordinator at (828) 695-5648 to schedule a time to volunteer. Individuals and groups of all ages are welcome.