The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Max Erikson

Back Packs for Kids: 10 years


October 25, 2017

October is hunger awareness month, and this school year marks the 10th year of the Back Packs for Kids program. Back Packs for Kids is a program that provides backpacks filled with food for students and families who are lacking resources during school closures and weekends.

Back Packs for Kids services 450 pre-K to high school students and families in Klickitat County including 250 in Goldendale. Ready-to-eat food is provided by the generosity of individual and community donors.

A statement by Back Pack for Kids says school administrators and staff have seen the benefits of the program and report improvement in student attendance, and a rise in parental involvement in school activities, as a one of the positive results of the program.

Proper nutrition is a factor in brain development and Back Packs for Kids provides adequate food resources to growing children helping them thrive.

“The program is still really needed,” Brian Wanless says. “We have seen more economic problems in our area in recent years, so the need has really increased.”

Wanless is a board member and the treasurer of Back Packs for Kids and says the program also services kids and families in the Roosevelt, Wishram, Klickitat, and Trout Lake school districts.

“All backpacks are handed out anonymously at the school and it is done on a weekly basis,” Wanless says. “Our donations help to purchase the food from local grocery stores.”

The budgetary needs to service 450 students each week is $45,000 for the school year. Donating to the program is tax-deductible and the program assures that close to 100 percent of your donation is used to purchase food for children.

Back Packs for Kids has been granted its own 501 (c) (3) non-profit status that qualifies them for more grants, and they can issue receipts to donors for their tax-deductible contributions.

If you have questions about the program call 773-4461 or visit the website at or email at to make a donation or to learn more about the program.

For donations by check send money to:

Back Packs for Kids

304 Fish Hatchery Rd.

Goldendale, WA 98620

Families who want to find out if they qualify for the program should contact the secretary at the Head Start building at 920 S Schuster in Goldendale, next to the primary school.


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