Weekend Bag Program
Each week we provide reusable bags with shelf-stable whole, unprocessed, fresh food and locally harvested produce to all preschool families for use during times when schools are closed, such as weekends and holiday breaks. Bags are universally distributed – meaning all families will be provided with food regardless of need – each week in BVSD classrooms. Bags also contain nutrition information, recipes using bag contents, cooking class opportunities, and other resources. The bag program combats food insecurity, hunger, and poor nutrition, and is a unique opportunity to alter students’ perceptions of food and offer nutrition education.
Thanks in part to funding from the City of Boulder's Health Equity Committee and revenue from the sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax, the 2018-19 school year, preschool families (and other select programs) at 15 schools will receive bags each week.
“Thank you, School Food Project! The students and parents here at Arapahoe Ridge High School are very appreciative of this initiative. Our students always ask me on Friday, ‘What’s in the green bags today?’ Students welcome the healthy snacks every week, and parents appreciate the recipe ideas!”
- Carmen Faucette, Community Liaison for BVSD's Arapahoe Campus
How It Works
Piloted in three schools during the 2014-15 school year, the Weekend Nutrition Bag Program is a proven way to provide nutrition options to children in need during times when schools are closed (weekends or holiday breaks). Weekly bag contents include but are not limited to organic brown rice, pasta, organic canned tomatoes, dried pinto beans, healthy snacks, and a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, squash, and onions. Bags are also supplied with nutrition education information including BVSD’s Harvest of the Month produce trading cards, recipes using bag contents, and information and resources from our partner organizations.
Our partnerships with Community Food Share to obtain a continued donation of nutritious foods at no cost to the District and with the YMCA of Boulder Valleywho share a similar mission to support healthy living, education and community development has allowed us to expand and continue the program again this year. BVSD has a unique opportunity to provide food access and education to parents, and to publicize programs that feed hungry children. As stated in BVSD’s Wellness Policy, we “recognize the important connection between a healthy diet and a student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school. The Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools also recognize that it is BVSD’s role, as part of the larger community, to model and actively practice through policy and procedures the promotion of family health and good nutrition.” BVSD Food Services remains dedicated to improving the health of each student by providing healthy food and offering nutrition education programs to grow young bodies and minds.
For more food assistance resources, please click here.
“The impact [of hunger] goes well beyond a child’s stomach. Childhood hunger affects a student’s health, academic performance, and behavior. Hungry children cannot learn as much, as fast, or as well because they are not well-prepared and cannot concentrate. Taken together, the effects of childhood hunger increase the achievement and life expectancy gaps separating some low-income children from their peers, making this the social issue of our time.”
- Chef Ann Cooper, US News & World Report