The Maryland's Food Bank's Backpack Program began two weeks ago at Wolfe Street Academy. The program provides bags full of food to children eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school. Backpacks are handed out on Fridays and children take them home to share with their families over the weekend.
Two Fridays ago, students participating in the BOOST After-School Program at Wolfe Street received bags of food. Food distributions will alternate weekly between students participating in the after-school program and students only attending the day school.
Kathy Stroup, Director of Extended Student Services, worked for two years to bring the Backpack Program to Wolfe Street Academy. The school will continue to receive weekly food distributions until the Food Bank exhausts the funding allocated for this program. Wolfe Street Academy also hosts two larger Maryland Food Bank food distributions twice a year.
The Backpack Program was initiated after Baltimore City teachers began noticing children returning to school on Monday unable to concentrate because they had not eaten all weekend. In Fiscal Year 2009, the Maryland Food Bank distributed 9,360 backpacks to children.
The Backpack Program is one of many services coordinated by the BOOST After-School Program at Wolfe Street Academy, which is funded by a grant from the Family League of Baltimore City.