Shaaray Tefila's Backpack Buddies Program
Many children depend on the free meals they receive at school during the week and often go hungry on the weekend because their families lack the resources to feed them.
Backpack Buddies is a nationwide program, endorsed by the Union for Reform Judaism, that aims to end childhood hunger one backpack at a time. Each Friday, Shaaray Tefila will provide backpacks filled with six meals and nutritious snacks for children, ages 5 - 11, to be distributed by the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.
Shaaray Tefila has a long history of feeding the hungry including:
- Our weekly soup kitchen
- Sandwich Saturday
- Regular donations to the New York Common Pantry
- High Holy Day Food Drive
Childhood hunger is especially troubling. Good nutrition is essential to a growing child's physical and mental health. Hungry children have difficulty concentrating in school and fighting common illnesses. Food-insecure children develop a "fear of hunger" that impacts their behavior as much as physical hunger affects their bodies.
Why we need Backpack Buddies
According to City Harvest
- In New York City, nearly one in four children lives in a home where there is not enough money to put food on the table
- Many of these same households earn too much money to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly known as food stamps).
According to a 2014 survey conducted by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger:
- New York City is facing an increasing crisis of poverty and hunger
- New York City's emergency food providers (food pantries, soup kitchens and brown-bag programs) have reported a 7% increase in the need for their services.
What's in a Backpack
Backpack Buddies will provide each child with six nutritious meals and healthy snacks for the weekend including:
- 4 containers of milk
- 2 boxes of non-sugar cereal
- 2 lunch proteins
- 2 dinner proteins
- 2 packets of vegetables
- 2 packets of fruit
- 2 snacks
- other assorted items
Did you know?
The Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center is named in honor of Mr. Isaacs, an advocate for social justice. He served as Manhattan Borough President from 1938-1942. His grandfather was Samuel M. Isaacs - the first Rabbi of Shaaray Tefila.
How Do I Fill a Backpack?
Please fill out the payment information below.
$18 to feed 1 child for 1 weekend
$36 to feed 1 child for 2 weekends
$72 to feed 1 child for 4 weekends
$800 to sponsor 1 child for 1 year
If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].