The mission of the Golden Backpack Program, Inc. is to feed hungry kids in Golden so that all children are free from hunger to learn, be healthy, and feel emotionally well.
The Golden Backpack Program was born in 2008 when, through the Rotary Club of Golden, we uncovered that there was significant hidden childhood hunger of our community. It began with a pilot program of providing sacks of weekend food during the school year and grew into serving children in ten schools in 2016, all funded by private donations from throughout the Golden community. By 2013 the Golden community asked that we serve kids during the summer as well, which we did through the donation/renovation of our mobile food pantry, the Snack-n-Wagon. We encouraged parents to allow their kids to come to safe sites for lunch by offering a variety of toys, games, and donated books to encourage summer reading while being served by a broad network of volunteers. Finally, in 2017 through a partnership with The Action Center, we launched a pilot project around the concept of a "fresh food co-op," culling and providing edge food we receive from Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joe's. Through these three programs, we have served well over 485,000 meals since we began in 2008. We couldn't do it without our community support through their donation of their time and resources.
1. Dear Golden Backpack Program: "Thank you" does not do justice to the feelings of gratitude I have for you! Your program ensures that over 200 of my students had food to eat every weekend, as well as during the summer. This allows our students to come to school prepared to learn and succeed. (From Pleasant View Elementary Principal)
2. A beautifully hand drawn thank-you note from a student was delivered to the Golden Backpack Program: "Tony and his family thank you for the food every Thursday."
3. When families get back on their feet, it is not uncommon to receive a thank-you note like the following: "Having weekend food made it possible for me to make ends meet. Now that we are in a better place, we no longer need help and are making room for others who need help to feed their kids. Thank you."