A program to send food home for some Imperial Valley school kids is restarting with funding from a renewable energy company.
The Imperial Valley Food Bank and Pattern Energy have agreed to restart the Weekend Backpack program at Westside Elementary School that had been canceled due to lack of funding. Pattern Energy's contribution will fund the program for the upcoming school year.
The program provides backpacks to the neediest school children at the schools with the most at-risk children. Each Friday the students take home a backpack filled with nutritious food to ensure they have good nutrition over the weekend.
The backpacks are returned each Monday and refilled again at the end of the week.
According to the recent Map the Meal Gap study by Feeding America, Imperial County has a 31.4 percent food insecurity rate – the highest in the state of California and the highest in the nation for a county with a majority Hispanic population.
Pattern Energy is developing a wind energy project in the vicinity of Ocotillo, which is home to many of the students at Westside Elementary.
The Imperial Valley Food Bank is an independent, nonprofit charitable corporation, created and operated for and by residents of Imperial Valley with the purpose of feeding those in need living in Imperial County.