Weekend meal program feeds more than 700 students
Powered by a group of dedicated Burnsville High School volunteers, Brainpower in a Backpack has grown from serving weekend meals to 40 students each year to more than 700.
In 2009, the Burnsville High School Youth Service Program and 191 Community Education saw a need to relieve weekend hunger for District 191 students. This need was met by BrainPower in a BackPack, a volunteer program where Burnsville High School students pack weekend food packages for their peers each week and learn about hunger issues in their community.
“BrainPower strives to help students come to school Monday morning ready to learn,” said Pam Voigt, BrainPower in a BackPack coordinator.
During the 2020-2021 school year amidst various learning models, the program was still available and distributed packages to students across the district with the help of 15-20 high school students each week. Looking ahead to the 2021-2022 school year, coordinators hope to expand the number of volunteers and the amount of packages to reach more students.
To support the program, BrainPower in a BackPack hosts the annual fundraiser Bowls for BrainPower. “Students and community volunteers create beautiful pottery creations throughout the year. These items are then glazed and available for a donation at the annual Bowls for BrainPower event,” said Voigt. This year’s event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 18 at Diamondhead Education Center.
Families interested in receiving weekend food packages from BrainPower in a BackPack during the 2021-2022 school year can sign up here.