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Bremerton Backpack Brigade - Food Drive

Please join the Bremerton Community Farmers Market in supporting the Bremerton Backpack Brigade (BBB) to fight food insecurity in our city. Backpacks full of food are sent home with students every Friday to prevent hunger over the weekend. The BBB is staffed by volunteers and relies in large part on donations from people like you. Thank you in advance for your donation!

Who They Are

The Bremerton Backpack Brigade is a licensed 501(c)3 non-profit organization. They are endorsed by the Bremerton School District, governed by a Board of Directors, and supported by local businesses and civic organizations, as well as many individuals. The Bremerton Backpack Brigade is comprised solely of volunteers committed to helping fight food insecurities in the Bremerton community.

 

Why They Do It

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.​

 

Over 65% of the students enrolled in Bremerton elementary schools are on the subsidized lunch program.  

Due to homelessness, financial struggles, and an array of other issues prevalent today, food provided at school often makes 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 at school each Monday morning with hungry bellies. That is where the Bremerton Backpack Brigade fills a need.

 

How They Do It

Each week the Bremerton Backpack Brigade volunteers start by collecting the previous weeks returned backpacks from local schools.  After collecting the backpacks, they are organized and prepared for the next pack out by ensuring the bags are in good condition, tags are legible and that we have a bag for each family. 

 

Another group of volunteers start preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.  Sometimes this includes cutting veggies and putting them into plastic baggies or breaking down larger packages into bags for individual kids.  

 

On pack out day the volunteers work to fill each family’s backpack with food to help keep bellies full over the weekend.  This can include up to 200 backpacks! 

 

After the backpacks are prepared, they are picked up and delivered to local schools to be distributed to the kids.  By packing the food in backpacks, the donated food is concealed in a bag that blends with every other backpack at school.

What They Need

  • Canned Protein (Tuna, Chicken, Spam, Vienna Sausages, etc.)

  • Dried Beans, Lentils, Peas 

  • Canned Meals (Ravioli, Spaghetti-Os, Chili, Hearty Soups)

  • Helper Meals 

  • Mac & Cheese, Pasta Mixes, Rice Mixes

  • Potatoes

  • Pastas

  • Rice

  • Canned Sauces

  • Powered Sauces and Dressings

  • Cornbread and Biscuit Mixes

  • Cereal and Oatmeal  

  • Canned Vegetables and Fruit

  • Canned Beans (Black, Pinto, Refried)

  • Peanut Butter and Seed Butter

  • Jelly and Jam

  • Pancake Mix and Syrup   

  • Pudding and Jello Mixes

  • Applesauce

  • Yogurt Pouches

  • Fruit Snack Cups

  • Jiffy Muffin Mixes

  • Cake and Brownie

  • Ramen Noodles

  • Tortillas (Flour or Corn)

  • Snacks (Granola Bars, Fruit Chews, Nuts, Raisins, Popcorn, Cookies, Crackers, etc.)

  • Staples (Flour, Sugar, Oil, Salt, Pepper, Mayo, Mustard, Ketchup)

  • Ziplock bags (quart and gallon)

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