When students are food insecure, they arrive at school on Monday morning hungry, unable to concentrate, taking food from waste baskets, and anxiously awaiting lunch.
AFE began to address food insecurity on a District-wide basis in 2013 with a weekend food backpack program developed with HATAS (Homeless and Travelers Aid Society) and the Regional Food Bank. In 2019, Grassroot Givers joined the partnership to provide an age-appropriate book with each backpack. AFE has been instrumental in shepherding the program — we serve as a critical partner in convening meetings and work groups, provide annual funding, solicit grants, and publicly promote the program. Volunteers from the community are invited to sign up for backpack stuffing shifts. In 2022, the Feed and Read Program serves 590 students throughout the Albany City School District, providing them with a bag of nutritious food and a new book each Friday.
How to Sponsor the Feed and Read Program
We need your help to sustain this important program! It costs $300/year – or $25/month – to provide a student with a backpack for an entire school year. The backpacks include bread, cereal, fresh produce, and coupons for eggs and milk – along with an age-appropriate book each week to help students build literacy habits at home.