Backpack Food Program

Since January 2017, The Child Care Council of Kentucky has been working in partnership with God’s Pantry to provide weekend meals to students in need at Garden Springs Elementary (GSE).

Many children depend on the food they receive at school. According to No Kid Hungry, 62% of teachers report seeing children on a regular basis who are not getting enough food at home.

Additional hunger statistics from No Kid Hungry:

  • 1 in 6 children nationwide are poor enough to go hungry.
  • 92% of the families who need food assistance are working families (at least one adult in the household is working full time, part time, or multiple jobs).
  • Teachers report spending an average of $300 of their own money buying food for hungry students.
  • 64% of parents say it would be difficult to feed their kids if they encountered a large, unexpected expense.
  • 46% of children from low income families say being hungry hurts their performance at school.
  • 12% say they are so hungry at night they cannot do their homework.
  • 59% of children from low-income families have come to school hungry.

These are just a sample of the nationwide statistics regarding hunger among our children. The Child Care Council of Kentucky is working to help students in our community one school at a time.

The Backpack Food Program offers weekend bags of food (distributed on Fridays) to children in need as determined by the Family Resource Coordinator at GSE. These bags contain shelf stable milk, fruit, vegetable, protein, grain, and a snack. A fresh fruit or vegetable is provided when available.

Gethsemane Lutheran Church, in the Garden Springs neighborhood, currently provides 36 bags of weekend food to GSE. The additional need of the school is met by the Child Care Council. Currently, Child Care Council provides a total of 36 bags in addition to the bags provided by Gethsemane. Approximately 25 bags from Child Care Council go to GSE, with the remainder going to Beaumont Middle School to assist with their shortfall.

At the conclusion of the 2017 fall semester, Gethsemane Lutheran Church and Child Care Council will have provided 870 bags of supplemental food to children in 48 families.

A Look at Fayette County Children:

According to 2017 Kentucky Kids Count Data, 10% of children in Fayette County live in deep poverty (below 50% of the federal poverty level); 22.6% live in poverty (below 100% of the federal poverty level); and 43% of children live in low-income households (below 200% of the federal poverty level).

In Fayette County, 16% of children live in food insecure households.

A Look at Garden Springs Elementary:

Garden Springs Elementary has approximately 468 students. Of this total, 206 receive free lunch and 18 receive reduced lunch (which is a total of 47.86% of the student body).

Cost:  One bag of food costs approximately $6, with shelf stable milk being the most expensive item. A single bag is packed with dairy, fruit/vegetable, protein, and grains. All items are shelf stable. Our goal is to provide fresh fruit, such as apples or oranges, when possible.

The cost to provide 36 bags is approximately $216, which covers one week.

You can make a tax deductible donation today to ensure children have quality food for the weekend. Please note that this program is completely volunteer run, therefore 100% of your donation goes toward the purchase of food for a child in need.

  • Click here to make a one-time donation (set amounts)
  • Click here to make a one-time donation (choose the amount)
  • Click here to donate monthly (recurring payment).

Mail checks to:  Backpack Food Program, 2501 Sandersville Rd, Suite 120, Lexington, KY 40511. *Please add email address and “Backpack Food Program” on memo portion of check.


Jacklynn (Mandy) Otis at 859-825-8335 (

Shannon Smith at 859-559-7320