Operation Backpack provides weekly sacks of kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to get students through the weekend when school meals are not available. Participating children are discreetly given these backpacks to take home, enabling them to come back to school on Monday with the good nutrition and focus they need to achieve academic success.
Operation Backpack has been one of our most successful programs since it started in 2006.
Approximately 6,500 backpacks are distributed each week across 17 counties in MO and IL.
All of the food is purchased by OFS to ensure quality and safety.
In 2021, Operation Backpack provided over 589,000 meals to students in 338 schools in 15 counties.
How Operation Backpack Impacts Children
87% of school personnel have seen a positive impact on the families of students who participate in Operation Backpack.
Nearly 60% of the teachers surveyed noted an improvement in academic performance and behavior from participating students.
Food assistance—which helps relieve both emotional and economic stress for the family—means children can learn more and worry less.