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How you can help end hunger for children in western Washington

Backpack Brigade delivers weekend meals to hungry kids and they can use your help.

SEATTLE — Many children across Washington state face food scarcity. Almost 52% of students enrolled in Washington public schools in 2022-23 qualify for free and reduced lunch, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

For some, the only meals they are provided are those that they receive at school. So that means on weekends or school breaks, most of these kids go hungry.

Backpack Brigade - a local nonprofit just down the street from us here in SODO - helps fill that gap of food insecurity. Nichelle Hilton said she was inspired to start the nonprofit after learning about the number of children who are food insecure.

Volunteers put together nutritious balanced meals for roughly 3,500 children a week. Every day, 20 volunteers come to help pack and deliver the meals.

The nonprofit offers six menus created to help represent the dietary religious and cultural needs of all the students they serve. One of the board members is a nutritionist who also helps ensure the meals meet the kids' nutritional needs.

Backpack Brigade, which started in 2014, distributes the food to 85 K-12 schools in four King County school districts.

If you're interested in donating to the nonprofit, you can do so through their website.  

You can also help with meal packing and prepping, as well as with loading and deliveries. Check for dates and times available.

Segment Producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest at 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day. 

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