Many students fall below the Federal poverty line. This allows them to get free breakfast and lunch at school. On weekends they often do not have any nutritious food available at home – perhaps only junk food. Every Friday, the schools pass out backpacks of food to these students for easy to make meals and healthy snacks for the weekends. Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple provides food for this “backpack program” at Running Brushy Middle School in Leander and five elementary/grade schools in Cedar Park, during the school year. Teachers and advisors report that the kids are doing well in school as a result of nutritious food!
Letter from Leander ISD school administrator:
LISD Backpack Food Program Totals for the 2014-2015 School Year:
- 21 Elementary Schools and 1 High School participated
- More than 8100 bags of food were distributed
- Nearly 150 Holiday Food Boxes were distributed with enough food to help support the entire family over the long holiday break
- As many as 291 students took home bags each week
- This year, we were able to include at least 1 family meal along with individual meals for the student. This expanded the reach of the program and helped families stretch their budgets a little further.
“Donations from the Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of Austin supplied more than 50% of the food passed out to children at Reed, Reagan, Rutledge, and Cox Elementary during the school year. Over 48 students participated in the backpack food program at these schools this year. Several of the families were homeless and lived in a hotel. Receiving the weekend food bags was literally the difference between them going hungry and being able to eat while away from school. Thank you for your support. Not only do the students thank you, but the teachers as well. Students who come back to school on Monday with food in their bellies do so much better than those who don’t. Attendance on Fridays has also improved for students who are in the backpack food program. Knowing they will get their food bag is all the incentive they need to show up. Thank you!”
“I also wanted you to know that our program always makes sure we credit the generosity of our donors every chance we get. Being able to tell people over and over again about how generous the Hindu Temple has been to our program is always a joy for me. I have found that many people are unfamiliar with the Hindu faith and do not realize the extent that the Temple goes to in order to help those in need. Being able to share my knowledge of your generosity with others helps expand their appreciation of your contributions to our community. Thank you.”