Snack Pak 4 Kids (SP4K) is a weekend backpack program that began serving 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 serving 10 kids. The program has grown to serve over 7,000 students in 39 school districts: Abernathy, Amarillo, Borger, Booker, Bushland, Canadian, Clarendon, Clayton, New Mexico, Cotton Center, Dalhart, Dimmitt, Dumas, Farwell, Floydada, Friona, Fritch, Hale Center, Happy, Hereford, Highland Park, Lockney, Olton, Pampa, Panhandle, Perryton, Plainview, River Road, San Antonio, Shamrock, Spearman, Stratford, Sunray, Tahoka, Texhoma, Tulia, Vega, White Deer, and Wildorado. Volunteers pack 10-12 brand new/brand name 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).
We have expanded the program to serve the students in middle and high school with the “Snack Shak” program. The “Snack Shak” will allow students to select from a menu of 35 brand new, brand name items. High school students can access the program via their school’s website without a teacher referral. This program is student lead and student run on our high school and middle school campuses. Middle school students are referred by their teachers and staff similar to the elementary program. Currently we have a student run Snack Shak at 9 high schools and 8 middle schools. 600 students are benefiting from Snack Shak at these schools
SP4K partnered with Baptist Community Services to serve as the 501c3 organization January 2013. BCS provides the administrative and infrastructure support for the program including a building for administering the program and staff. This partnership has allowed us to use 100% of all donations to buy food. Over 4,000 volunteers serve annually in Amarillo alone.