To end weekend hunger for children living in the Texas panhandle by providing a backpack filled with kid friendly snacks each Friday of the school year.
By 2015 every community in the Texas panhandle will have access to Snack Pak 4 Kids or similar program.
Snack Pak 4 Kids (SP4K) is a weekend backpack program that began serving ten children at Will Rogers Elementary on Labor Day Weekend September 2010. A Bushland couple that discovered Amarillo was the largest city west of Dallas without a weekend backpack program started the program in their kitchen. The program has grown to serve over 3,000 students in 15 school districts: Amarillo, Borger, Bushland, Clarendon, Dalhart, Friona, Fritch, Happy, Hereford, Lockney, Pampa, Tulia, River Road, San Antonio (Lamar Elementary), Wildorado, Tahoka. Volunteers pack 10-12 nutritious snacks in plastic bags, deliver them to the school, and place them in backpacks to be discreetly sent home each Friday. The targeted students are those who live in food-insecure homes as identified by the school staff (counselor, nurse, principal, and teachers). SP4K provides a bag for each elementary student (as well as any siblings at home not old enough to attend school).
SP4K partnered with Baptist Community Services to serve as the 501c3 organization. BCS provides the administrative and infrastructure support for the program including a building for administering the program and staff. In November 2010 Baldwin Distribution partnered with SP4K to provide transportation of food from the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program joined SP4K in December 2010 to coordinate all volunteer needs of the organization. The Hereford FED program joined with SP4K in December 2010 to begin delivering backpacks in Hereford. August 2012 Labatt Food Service has partnered with SP4K to help us expand the effort beyond Amarillo. With this partnership, any city in Texas now has the ability to access this program.
The program has dramatically expanded in 2011 with the addition of a warehouse generously donated by Jim Austin, Charlie Graham and Jerry Webb. The warehouse allows the program to serve more schools in Amarillo and the surrounding area. The expansion was also made possible because numerous churches have committed to sponsoring schools with financial and volunteer support to ensure these children have a weekend bag of food.