Kids Aid - The Backpack Program

A nonprofit organization

$153,102 raised by 398 donors

51% complete

$300,000 Goal

Over half of the students in Mesa County are eligible for the Federal free and reduced lunch program and may go home on the weekends with no access to food. Kids Aid provides emergency food relief so that kids can come back to school, fed, and ready to learn.


"Thanks to Kids Aid, our students have the chance to return to school after the weekend with at least some fuel in their tank to start the school week. Thanks to Kids Aid, they know that someone else out there cares about their well being. Thanks to Kids Aid, they can depend on a food bag to be there for them every weekend (even the long ones) to help them over the hump - something they can prepare themselves if they need to. It helps them grow, it helps them learn, it helps them trust."
--- Mesa County School District #51 Elementary Secretary


To alleviate childhood hunger so kids can be kids.

Background Statement

In 2007, Kids Aid was created by concerned citizens recognizing an overwhelming need in their community. These citizens quickly learned that many children in Mesa County did not have enough to eat over the weekends and were coming to school distracted and fatigued by hunger the following week. They soon gathered others to assist in addressing this issue and collaborated with a Mesa County School District #51 (MCSD) to begin a pilot weekend food distribution program since no other program met weekend hunger needs. The initial program distributed 10 sacks of food over the weekends through one elementary school for three months.

Since the initial pilot program in the spring of 2007, the need for weekend food in the valley has continued to increase. The program began with five volunteers distributing food each week. The program now has over 175 volunteers and has grown from serving 10 students a week to approximately 1,800 students a week in the 2021/22 fiscal year. We are currently serving 3,000 kids a week. Kids Aid is currently run by an Executive Director, one part time Office Assistant, as well as seven volunteer members that serve on our Board of Directors.

Kids Aid serves 109+ locations including Mesa County School District elementary, middle and high schools, charter schools, Plateau Valley schools, Gateway schools, the Debeque school district, private schools, homeschool groups, preschools and daycares, and two college campuses.

The Kids Aid summer program has also increased since it's start in June of 2015. Kids Aid currently runs three different summer programs in addition to collaborating with the MCSD mobile food trucks (the Lunch Lizards) and distributes bags of food to children under 18 years of age for the weekends during the summer months.

Kids Aid also has "Pop Up Stops" located in Fruita, central Grand Junction, Clifton, Palisade, Collbran. These partnerships are also helping to meet the weekend hunger needs of families in our valley.

Organization Data


Organization name

Kids Aid - The Backpack Program

other names

The Backpack Program

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Organization Size

Medium Organization


2978 Gunnison Ave
Grand Junction, CO 81504

Service areas

Mesa County, CO, US