Food Packpack program adapts to new challenges

April 25, 2020 — During the COVID-19 pandemic school closures, Food Backpack for Kids (FB4K) has had to adapt to new challenges.

FB4K is ready to continue distribution beyond the normal end of the school calendar year.

“We’ve increased inventory levels at a time we normally decrease them,” said FB4K Program Director Marilyn Barba.

The group’s operations have had to adjust menu items due to shortages, but are focused on a balanced diet.

All FB4K packing volunteers follow protocols from the Center for Disease Control.

In addition, distribution to schools continue.  FB4K’s partners, Siuslaw Elementary School Principal Mike Harklerode and Mapleton Elementary School Principal Jodi O’Mara, as well as school staff, have also adapted. 

Volunteers distribute food bags directly to 98 students’ homes since school buses aren’t running.

Going forward, Florence Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3232 will be distributing food bags to 75 children’s homes in Florence. 

Mapleton Community Volunteers are distributing 23 food bags to students who have very little food at home to them.

Finally, United Way Lane County fully funded a $2,500 COVID-19 grant request for FB4K to continue purchasing food.

For more information or to donate to FB4K, visit


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