The Brookings Backpack Project assists children and youth in Brookings County SD, who may not have enough food to eat at home by providing them with easy-to-prepare weekend meals and snacks throughout the year.
By helping to sustain these children, we seek not only to help meet their nutritional needs but also to promote their physical, cognitive and social development, and to enhance their overall sense of well-being.
In early 2009, a small group of Brookings residents, many of whom were members of the Brookings United Church of Christ, started to explore the feasibility of a local ‘backpack’ program. As the vision moved toward reality, the group met with officials from both the Brookings Public Schools and Brookings Head Start, who enthusiastically agreed to be partners in the project. In 2011 the summer program was added.
The organization continued to prosper under the umbrella of the United Church of Christ and as it grew, it transitioned into an independent Non-profit in August of 2016. Although there have been numerous changes throughout the years, the common goal has always been to provide healthy snacks and easy to fix meals to children in food insecure homes.
In 2018 Sioux Valley Schools was added to the list of children served, and 2019 added the Elkton School district to those receiving assistance.
The program is supervised by the Executive Director and Food/Volunteer Project Coordinator and overseen by an Executive Board of Directors.