Although we are all appreciative for our everyday meals, sometimes we forget that even in our own country, there are many families that don’t have access to food, much less nutritious food. As part of a family owned company that places a large emphasis on recognizing the needs of our community, our team at The Double R Ranch Co. has made a diligent effort to become more involved in solving the needs of hungry children. Historically, our company has supported local foodbanks with nutritious beef as well as cash donations.  More recently, many of us have been motivated to actually donate time. A cause that is dear to many of our hearts is the school backpack program. Here are some basic facts:

My family developed a more realistic sense of appreciation for what they have and what they can do to help in our community. It is heartwarming to see how much all of the children enjoyed helping others their own age.

Erin Aldinger, Double R Ranch Co. Marketing Coordinator and Customer Care Specialist, works with Jeff and Lucas Van Lith to fill backpack kits

Each of these bags are placed in a non-descript backpack to feed a child for an entire weekend

Poverty levels are on the rise due to the current economy, and too many Idaho children are hungry over the weekends. Many families rely on school meals provided by the Free and Reduced Lunch Program to feed their children, but these meals are not available on the weekends.
Throughout Idaho, teachers share stories of children returning to school on Monday after a weekend without enough to eat. Studies show that children deprived of food are more likely to become sick, have a decreased attention span, and lack the enthusiasm to learn because they are concentrating on their hunger more than learning.
The Backpack Program provides crucial nutrition and runs throughout the school year to ensure that children return to school each Monday nourished and ready to learn.
The Idaho Foodbank works in partnership with school officials to identify chronically hungry children that could benefit from the Backpack Program.
With parental permission, backpacks are distributed discreetly to participating children on Fridays or the last day of the school week. The weekend backpack weighs about six pounds and is comprised of two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and two snacks that are child-friendly, easy to prepare, and non-perishable.

Packing each of the backpack “weekend kits” is eye opening. This last week, many of us brought our families to help.  Not only were the children surprised at what a nutritious meal looks like to many, but also the modest amount of food it requires to adequately feed a child over the weekend.  Their level of appreciation for our daily meals skyrocketed.  From all of us at the Double R Ranch Co., we hope you have the opportunity to assist with the local backpack program in your area.  There is a real need in our communities and you can make a true difference just by donating time.

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