Cultivate Food Rescue has gained useful data regarding our Backpack Program. These statistics provide information that we use to improve our program and feed more children. 

These are some basic results from last years backpack pilot program: 

Backpack Program Statistics: February to August 2019

On February 8, the pilot began with the delivery of 99 backpacks. The number of backpacks given out each week ranged from 60 to 99, with an average of 73 backpacks given out each week. The number of bags returned the following week ranged from 55 to 93, with an average loss of 2 bags per week.

A total of 121 children participated in the program at some point through the semester, with 50 withdrawing from the program (usually due to movement to a different school). Of the children who withdrew, they stayed in the program for approximately 6 weeks with a range of half a week to 16 weeks.

The school staff had issues with at least 33 families of the families not returning the bags on time. They called, texted, e-mailed, and spoke to parents in person in an attempt to get the bags returned. The families who had more trouble returning the bags were not more likely to drop out of the program. 

An average, children received 10 bags of food across the semester (ranging from 1 bag to 17 bags).

Family Characteristics

88% of children had at least one sibling (up to 8 siblings). 

Only 7 families reported any allergies or food limitations for religious issues (pork).

Eating Food

7 (10%) children at some point reported that they did not have enough to eat over the weekend. In 3 cases (6, 52, 61) they were not eating (or not consistently eating) the food given to them. 4 of the children reported as still hungry – even with 8 meals in the backpack.

11 (14%) reported that they did not eat the food provided.

In most families, food was shared with siblings. About half the time, food is shared with parents. The extended family was named less frequently.

Positive Reactions to Food

The most frequent response that the child liked all of the food. Breakfast foods most frequently named (pancakes, waffles, eggs) but also hot dogs.

About 1/3 (25%-50%) name a healthy food that they liked.

Negative Reactions to Food

Very few children would report liking none of the food (up to 5 children) that was provided as part of the Backpack Program. Data showed a range of foods disliked by participants. Most often, meat is named as a disliked food.

About 1/3 (25%-50%) name a healthy food that they disliked.

Final Thoughts

This information helps to inform Cultivate Food Rescue’s program strategy and decision-making process. The data, above, assist in forming insights to reaching more children with food that is both nutritious, and delicious! 

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