Students at local elementary schools will have weekend BackPacks of food thanks to a recent gift received from the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation. The $25,000 grant will provide at least 5,555 BackPacks of nourishing food to 179 school students throughout the school year. The food contained in the bags will support proper nutrition for overall growth, physical and cognitive development as well as satisfactory performance in school.

The grant provides resources for the 2016-17 academic year, and will benefit students at Springfield Elementary in East Springfield as well as three elementary schools in the Ft. Lebeouf School District: Robison Elementary, Waterford Elementary and Mill Village Elementary School. Should conditions arise where there is a need in other areas of the program, GEICO has graciously offered to release this funding for other students across the Second Harvest network.

The BackPack Program provides needy children with nutritious, child-friendly food when other resources, such as school lunches and after-school meals or snacks, are not available. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to participating children at community centers or schools on Fridays and before holidays. Second Harvest currently operates 31 BackPack sites in five counties and eight school districts. Approximately 2,000 children are served BackPacks each week.