Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary has joined a growing list of companies and individuals supporting the CCUSD Backpacks for Kids Program. Hillside recently presented a $1,250 grant to the program, which for the past three years has provided food for students who are food uncertain on the weekends. Approximately 44% of Culver City’s 6,500 students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and while these students are part of the rich diversity attending our public schools, some return home for the weekend not knowing if they will have food to eat until they’re back at school on Monday.
Each year, faculty and staff at all of the school sites from pre-school through high school identify students who come to school hungry. The school secretary contacts the family to see if they need some help and asks if they want to join the Backpacks program. Every week the secretaries send the count of needed backpacks to the Backpacks coordinators. Backpacks are filled with $10 worth of easy to prepare shelf-stable food, which is distributed to the students on Fridays. On Mondays, after the backpacks are returned, the cycle starts over again.
Last school year, the numbers rose from 75 to 100 families, and with increased awareness, the program expects even more registrants this year. The program strives to protect the anonymity of the students while lending them a helping hand.
The Backpacks program is entirely dependent upon donations from school booster clubs, social organizations, and individual donors.
Anyone who wishes to donate can do so directly at: CCBackpacksforkids.com.