Kids programs help feed children like Francisco.
Francisco, 9, is in the fourth grade and receives a scholarship to attend Urban Community School on Cleveland’s west side. He lives with his mother and spends time with his grandparents, who live across the street. Math and reading are Francisco’s favorite classes, and he’s not hesitant to tell you he wants to be President of the united States when he grows up.
You wouldn’t know it from his gregarious spirit and unfading smile, but Francisco doesn’t always have enough to eat. His mother often has trouble stretching her paycheck to cover all their needs, and his grandparents are on a small fixed income.
Your generosity makes a difference for kids like Francisco every day.
Each Friday, he’s able to take home a backpack full of nutritious, kid-friendly meals through BackPacks for Kids, a Cleveland Foodbank program at his school and 38 others across our service area.
Children from 100 families at Francisco’s elementary school receive backpacks of food each week, and the faculty and staff say they see a marked improvement in the attitudes and performance of those who participate in the program.
Julie Babcock is a Kindergarten teacher at the school, and she says the weekly backpacks give students confidence because they can rely on them when life outside of school feels unstable.
“The kids know they can count on this food,” she says. “They feel loved — there’s someone out there who they don’t know who cares about them.”
Francisco understands that his mom and grandparents don’t always have money to buy him food, and he feels proud that he can contribute to his family by bringing home the backpack each weekend. He’s so thankful that you choose to give.
“Thank you for the food!” he says. “It’s nice for you to give the food. It helps my mom a lot.”
Francisco is on the road to achieving his dreams because of your compassion. Thank you for sharing what you have with students in need!