Backpack Program

The Backpack Leadership Committee, made up of community volunteers, has been working with Baker 5J to ensure that the distribution of weekend supplementary food backpacks can continue in spite of COVID-19 school closures and restrictions. The hope is that this program can continue to feed local children, and ongoing communication with the school district and flexibility and commitment from the many volunteers will guarantee that this program can continue successfully. Our volunteers are hardworking, committed, and greatly appreciated. If you want to volunteer or need more information about the programs, you can contact Paula Kopecky (360.201.4070) or Karen Kolb-Schoeningh (208.447.6953). 

The Backpack Program, established in 2010, provides supplemental weekend food for students in the Baker 5J School District who are in need and are at severe risk. The program provides a bag of non-perishable food to children that they can take home and eat when school meal programs are unavailable. These bags are distributed at school to participating children in plastic shopping bags by their teachers or volunteers as they leave on Thursday afternoons. (Our district does not have school on Fridays.)  The contents of the bags can vary depending on the food and donations available. The program strives to provide enough food to replace the meals that children would receive at school (e. g. three breakfast options, three lunch options, two snack options and a fruit option). The volunteers fill an average 160 backpacks per week at a cost of $5.00 per backpack.  

The Backpack Program is run entirely by volunteers and has been sponsored by local donations from churches, civic groups and organizations, individuals, and grants. Our church strongly believes the program should be a collaborative community effort. We continue to develop and expand appropriate funding programs and partnerships. We have also worked out an agreement for people to stop by the Baker Food Co-Op and make a contribution towards the purchase of fruit to go in children’s bags.

2019 Baker City Herald article on the Backpack Program

2019 Elkhorn Media article on the Backpack Program

You can donate directly to this program by mailing a check or money order to:

Baker First Presbyterian Church
Attn: Backpack Program
1995 Fourth Street
Baker City, OR 97814

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