School meals are critical to student health and well-being, especially for low-income students. These meals ensure that students have the nutrition they need throughout the day to learn. School officials recognize the importance of school meals and are concerned about the lack of meals that students may face during weekends or extended school breaks.
Weekend meal bag programs, which may be called “snack packs” or “weekend backpacks,” have emerged as a means to secure food for children outside of school in the absence of other efforts. These programs give students, who are identified by school officials as in need, a bag of food to take home for weekends and school vacations.
In some communities, this support is organized within the schools or a Bright Futures program. Communities fortunate enough to have an outside source organizing a weekend food program may only need to coordinate efforts.