My name is Yesenia Vasquez and I am the Child and Nutrition Manager at the Food Bank. Every Friday this school year, children will look forward to our BackPack distribution so they won’t have to wonder where their next meal will come from.
The purpose of the BackPack program is to provide meals during school breaks, closures, and weekends to children at risk for hunger. Currently, the Food Bank serves nine elementary schools, five in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and four in Compton Unified School District (CUSD).
Most of my department team members grew up in Los Angeles and understand the importance of addressing food insecurity, especially among children. They are highly tuned to food issues in the community and understand food deserts and how they affect the food choices people make. As we coordinate each program, we never lose sight of the direct impact our donors are helping us make for children and their families.
If you have ever skipped a meal, you know the lightheaded and lethargic feeling of not eating. Children at risk for hunger have difficulty concentrating and paying attention in class. They are not ready to learn. I believe it is our duty, as a society, to expand the program to more schools to ensure we are reaching all children in Los Angeles that may be at risk for hunger.
Over the years, I have heard plenty of stories. I once spoke with a coordinator at one of the schools we serve who shared with me that three of her students had just lost their parents in a car accident and were staying with their aunt. She told me that, without the BackPack program, the aunt would not have been able to feed her own children plus the three children whom she had taken in after the accident.
The BackPack Program is privately funded by people like you, and it makes a difference for children at risk for hunger. Your generosity is providing nutrition, an opportunity to go to school ready to learn and hope for a better future. Thank you.
There are more hungry children in our community than we are currently able to reach through the BackPack program, and with your help, we can reach more children who are in need of our support. If you have not done so already, please consider giving generously so that no child goes hungry in LA County.
We believe that people can do amazing things when they have the right tools. That’s why we’re excited about our #WeFeedLA platform where you can create your own fundraiser. Use it to fight hunger in LA County!