The Back Pack Project provided nutritious, kid-friendly food items to over 200 youth in the Vernon Parish schools during the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter/spring break. Back packs were filled with these items – peanut butter/crackers, cereals, fruit, juice, pudding cups, granola bars, etc.
Teens competing in Food/Nutrition-related contests for 4-H University were trained with materials purchased through the grant enabling these contestants with real materials to read labels, compare prices and nutritional information, etc. for their events such as Consumer Foods, Ag Products Demonstration and Horticulture Use Demonstration.
To enable Vernon to secure this grant, Foods and Fitness Board members and two additional teens interested in Foods and Fitness worked with six adult leaders and 4-H agents to plan and conduct 4-H Club programs, Teen Leader programs and the Vernon Parish Back Pack Project. The Back Pack project also had teen/adult partnerships to secure additional material and food items to provide the back packs to youth in need – this included the school board members, church leaders, school counselors and the media.
The Vernon Parish Back Pack Project provided school children in need with kid-friendly, nutritious foods during lengthy holiday seasons. Youth organizing the project recognized the need for nutritious items as they identified issues such as childhood obesity and numbers of children who go hungry each day. Flyers issued to collect food item and back pack donations identified items that were kid-friendly, meaning little need for preparation, such as oatmeal, peanut butter, snack crackers, fruit cups, juice, etc. for any age child.
Materials purchased included kid-friendly food items for back pack project; equipment – blenders, electric skillets, griddles, bowls and utensils for demonstration purposes; food items for demonstrations on healthful alternatives for meals and snacks; healthful snack alternatives for club meeting programs; food items used for label reading and practice in preparation for 4-H University and the parish 4-H Consumer Foods contest.