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Last month, as part of the BlueCares Blue Ocean community outreach initiative, a host of volunteers joined Weekend Backpacks in packing backpacks for food-insecure Baltimore City youth and their families.
Weekend Backpacks seeks to help hungry children in Baltimore City whose only food might be the school breakfast and lunches they receive during the week. Studies show that childhood hunger creates physical, intellectual, and emotional developmental delays. By providing meals over the weekend for this vulnerable population, Weekend Backpacks helps to bridge the food supply gaps these children face between Friday and Monday.
The backpacks provide enough food for the child, as well as their family, for an entire weekend, with additional food supplied over the course of extended weekends. The supplies include milk, proteins, vegetables, cereal, and fruit. Currently, Weekend Backpacks serves 37 different schools and 2 recreation centers totaling over 1200 bags of food weekly, or 21,600 individual meals.
Blue Ocean sponsored six families for the year and excited volunteers helped fill backpacks for the coming weekend. Volunteers shared that the experience was powerful and meaningful. The group plans to participate again, bringing friends and family with them in the future, to create an even greater impact.
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