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Kids Go Hungry Over Weekend, Backpack Program Helps

This story caught my eye this morning because I thought it was the other Hillary — but getting my Clinton confused with my Duff led me to this great charity: Blessings in a Backpack.

It makes so much sense — there are 16.3 million kids getting free or reduced price lunches through the National School Lunch Program — so who feeds those kids on the weekend? The Blessings program packs backpacks with nonperishable food and passes them out at the end of the week to keep kids going until school rolls around on Monday. Food charity programs like this and Meals on Wheels fulfill a need especially poignant when economic times get tough.


Hilary Duff was in Fort Wayne, IN, to publicize the program. She said:

I feel lucky enough to have a voice or a name that people might pay attention to. I think that people might not be aware that a couple neighborhoods away, kids aren't having food on the weekends, and we just want people to be informed and to know what's going on in their communities and to help if they can.

To see why the need is so great, and how you can help,

.

Here are some surprising stats on food stamp benefits that signal a need for more help:

  • A household is ineligible for the Food Stamp Program if it has more than $2,000 in savings or other assets.
  • The USDA calculated that there were 12.4 million children that were at hungry or at risk in 2005, the year the program started.
  • The average per-person food stamp benefit is .93 a meal.

If you want to help the Blessings in a Backpack program, there are lots of ways to donate time, money, and resources.

Source

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0037sammie 0037sammie 7 years
I am glad she's doing something that makes a positive change and a difference to the people that need it. Refreshing to see, after the hoards of knickerless crackhead celebs running around...
chancleta chancleta 7 years
And another thing - instead of celebrities donating millions to Obama they should be donating millions to good organizations in the community (like this one). Celebrities should shut their traps and put their money where their mouth is.
chancleta chancleta 7 years
I'm with the Dude. It's a great program. I would donate to it. I just don't believe it has to be a federally funded program. Want change? Donate. Don't put it in the hands of our government. Back in the day - when we had smaller government people helped the poor in their communities. People need to be more involved in their own communities and take matters in to their own hands. Being taxed out the wazoo so the government can decide how much goes to each organization is crap. If you want change - do it your self. Don't impose it on every one with taxes.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
"Why not? Your neighborhood collection idea just seems so brilliant." Thank you. Could it be funded? Maybe, but I don't think a privately funded police force would be too impartial do you? Despite the fact that I live in a pretty squarely middle class neighborhood, not too many of these people can mow there own yards let alone lay asphalt. (yes i know that was meant tongue in cheek) "And my scholarship? The only one the Rotary club gave out, and it was $500 spread over two years. Yeah...that is going to solve our education problems." I'm not saying it will, but I bet if all of the people who are saying that the government should do something about this would pitch in a few bucks it would. "But ya know, a lot of the money goes to "think pink!" and bunny shelters (where I volunteer!). I don't think things like mental illness disability would get very much sympathy from your average person." I don't think that all gov programs are bad, especially, when they are helping people who can't help themselves (children, mentally disabled, disabled vets, etc.). I do also know that there are privately funded orgs that help these types of people. You seem like a pretty passionate person. That type of thing can rub off on people. I'd be willing to wager that you could get more people behind that type of a cause, too. "I don't get where you think your tax dollars go, if not to fund the police, military, schools and roads?" I know it goes towards those things. It also goes to a lot of things that don't help me or anyone I know one bit. It seems like even if someone comes up with a really good piece of legislation, by the time it is voted on it is loaded with so much garbage that has nothing to do with anything but law makers throwing their friends a bone so they can keep those donations rolling in when its campaign time again. Think about the numbers that have been thrown around. 18 Billion Dollars in pork barrel spending. I don't give a rat's a$$ who voted for it. It was a lot more than just Obama. I know that. Think of all of the problems that could have solved if it had gone to people who needed it. Why do we think that this stuff is going to change if we give them more money?
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
"Anything we can do for ourselves, I think we should. Roads, military, police, etc. We probably can't do those things for ourselves." Why not? Your neighborhood collection idea just seems so brilliant. And my scholarship? The only one the Rotary club gave out, and it was $500 spread over two years. Yeah...that is going to solve our education problems. I'm not trying to denigrate the good work that we can do when we donate money to our favorite causes, or volunteer. But ya know, a lot of the money goes to "think pink!" and bunny shelters (where I volunteer!). I don't think things like mental illness disability would get very much sympathy from your average person. I don't get where you think your tax dollars go, if not to fund the police, military, schools and roads? What do you think your state does when it collects taxes? Seriously? Hands it directly to a liberal?
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
"I believe some people refer to those as "scholarships." I got one from the Rotary Club my freshman and sophomore year!" Exactly. We don't need the government to do this.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
Err, state, either.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
That's funny, because for a long time, I have felt like our Federal Government hasn't had anything to do with something that I've decided. State, too. I'm sure many of you feel the same way. I'm not just talking about the past 8 years, though.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
I like roads. And fire departments. I'm fond of police, and I love libraries. I'm also fond of defense when it's, you know, defending our country. I also like unemployment insurance. I like free tuition for smart kids who go to state schools. I like public schools in general. I like prisons to keep the bad guys locked up. And I like federal funding for scientific research, I like unemployment, and I like welfare. In general, I'm happy to pay my taxes, city, state, and federal. "Government is what we decide to do together."
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
Anything we can do for ourselves, I think we should. Roads, military, police, etc. We probably can't do those things for ourselves.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
Truly, and I think this is the case with so many things, I think we want the same thing here, more stuff like this program. You probably just think that the government should provide it, and I think that we can and should do it for ourselves.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
Yes, I like roads and police and the military and any number of other things that the government is providing these days. Just a little hyperbole. I didn't say anybody was. That's the point.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
I believe some people refer to those as "scholarships." I got one from the Rotary Club my freshman and sophomore year!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
"way to go to them for finally spending some of my tax dollars on something I can get behind." You like roads, right? No one is stopping you from starting a neighborhood fund to fund one kid's college tuition.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
I am not opposed to this program. I don't really know if this is government funded or not. I didn't get the idea that it was from the article. If it is, then way to go to them for finally spending some of my tax dollars on something I can get behind. If it is, in fact, run by the government, can you imagine how much more we could be doing for these kids if none of this money was going toward government offices or the people who are running it. Could you imagine if every community could get together and say hey lets give a few bucks and a few hours of our time so the kids can eat. The government doesn't need to do this for us (again, don't know if this is the gov or not). We can do this for ourselves. There are about 300 or so homes in my subdivision(could be more, could be less), what if we decided to get together to help some deserving, less fortunate kid go to college? It wouldn't even cost each of us $5/ month. Kids in poorer neighborhoods don't seem to be getting the education they should. What if we offered to tutor them for free for an hour a week? That wouldn't cost anybody anything but time. No lets keep throwing more and more money at a failing public school system. The beauty of this country is that at any point any of us has the freedom to do something good. We have been set up so that if we want more we can have it if we are willing to work for it. If we want to help people we can do so. We can do all of this without the government's help. Why involve a system that most see as a terribly slow and corrupt system? We don't have to, and we can all be better off.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
Er, dude, I was mostly joking with the "socialist!" thing...I just thought it would be worth it to point out all the times that worthwhile programs benefit from the government redistribution of wealth. Which is what this is... I don't understand why if this is something you feel is valuable and a good thing, why you would object to it solely on the basis that the government is doing it, but we've had this conversation so many times on here. I actually don't even know if this IS a govt. program, and I'm not going to look it up now...
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
Marni, I know that you didn't say lets not try. Some gov. programs do help people. I know that. They also help a lot of people who could help themselves stay right where they are. That did come off a little more fiery than I wanted it to. I know not everyone who is able to help will help, but it is also their right not to if they don't want to. I also tend to believe that if you had one in ten people helping people directly, a lot more people would get helped than everyone being forced to help indirectly through the government. Look at the waste in our system. I also believe that the individual's ability to judge between a person in need and a person that wants a handout also makes individual efforts and private organizations much more efficient.
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
i did not say*
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
i did not say*
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
i did not say*
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
wooowww dude, i didnt see not to even try! You are def putting words in my mouth. I have spent years doing volunteer and community development work in this country as well as others..so I think you are right on when you say people should do their part. BUT i do think that some government programs help people that need help NOW. I am not saying that they are flawless but you cant deny that some offer help to people that do need it.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
"I think in theory its great to think everyone will pull their share and help those in need right now..but the reality is that this isnt the case, or those currently helping arent enough for the magnitude of problems facing people these days" So lets not even try. Lets just take away the people's freedom to choose for themselves who or what they're going to donate to. After all, the government knows better than we do how to help people. Don't they?
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
No no no, sexy sexy. I'm not saying programs or organizations are bad. I'm just stating the fact that people who aren't involved in any organization or program can still help people in need. In fact, when I was in college, I and a few friends, who felt compelled to do something, started going down town for a few hours every week to hand out fruit and bagels, clean underpants, toothbrushes and toothpaste. It ended up becoming a program at my school because so many people wanted to get involved. We called it the doughnut run because the first several times we did it we took doughnuts, but we ultimately decided that giving out something a little healthier and some other things that people might need would be a little better. We even got, at that time, the local St. Louis Bread (now Panera) to donate some bagels and bread and stuff. We also were able to get some of those people involved in programs that could do a little more for them in the way of helping them get off the streets. I'm not at all saying programs are bad.
saucymegstar saucymegstar 7 years
My work has a program like this-- we call it Snackpacks for Kids and the schools identify the children who will receive them. We have hundreds of volunteers-- those who pack the bags and drivers to deliver to schools. It is a program that makes a big difference in kids lives. Our program is grant funded and run by one staff member but really volunteer-fueled. We also do a summer meal program for kids. But lately schools have been doing something similar in the summer-- except instead of having meals delivered the children must go to the school. Both are good ways to help feed kids who would otherwise have to fend for themselves. It is not that we "don't need programs" but a more efficient and effective way of making a change in your community is to get a group of people who care together and just make it happen. Private citizens and non-profit organizations (like the one where I work) have fewer restrictions to helping people. We must act in our own communities instead of waiting around for someone else (the government, or anyone) to do it for us. You don't have to be rich, just donating time and some elbow grease can help. Sorry, soap box. :)
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
I think in theory its great to think everyone will pull their share and help those in need right now..but the reality is that this isnt the case, or those currently helping arent enough for the magnitude of problems facing people these days..so in the meantime I dont see what is wrong with helping people through government programs like these?
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