There is a population of students at Rolling Knolls Elementary in Annapolis that would not eat without access to the free breakfast and lunch served at school. These students go hungry during the weekends and over school breaks. RKE has implemented the Backpack Buddies program to provide food to these children to help them during the times they go without. The food provided must be able to be eaten from the package or easily prepared in a microwave, as parents are often not home to assist with meal preparation. This is a confidential program. Backpacks are labeled with numbers and only select staff members are permitted to distribute the packs.
The demographics of the school are changing rapidly, which is not something that was anticipated. RKE was shocked to learn that close to 60 students would need help. Each and every one qualifies for free and reduced school meals; a certain indicator they are living at or below the poverty line. RKE was faced with the choice between providing a full backpack to 30 children and turning away the rest, or feeding all 60 children a reduced amount. It is simply unthinkable to turn away hungry children, so they packed what they could and hoped to increase the amount of food throughout the school year.
The Foundation is very proud to help support the expansion of the Rolling Knolls Elementary Backpack Buddies Program to help feed the growing number of hungry students. Food is a basic need. It is RKE’s mission to support and encourage all students to achieve their highest potential. When children lack access to healthy food, they face potentially devastating consequences to their health and development, future academic success, and long-term economic competitiveness. Access to healthy food is a right that should be afforded to all, especially to our children.
With your help, The Foundation can continue to provide support for impactful programs like this.