Coldwater is a community and funding partner with Harvesters BackSnack Program to provide a backpack of nutritious food to children who might otherwise go hungry on the weekend. Coldwater serves 175 students in six Lee's Summit elementary schools. Coldwater volunteers work together each week to organize and deliver the BackSnacks for these schools.
Lee's Summit has more than 700 elementary school children identified by Harvesters as chronically hungry. Coldwater's goal is to increase the number of Harvesters BackSnacks provided to include all these chronically hungry students in Lee's Summit. $250 will provide BackSnack to one child for the entire school year.
Harvesters BackSnacks began in 2003 as a pilot program at one school and served 30 kids. Now more than 19,000 elementary students receive Harvesters' BackSnacks. It is the largest backpack program in the country. An evaluation of the program has shown the following for children who participate:
- Grades have improved by as much as 18%, especially in English, social studies and science.
- 34% of parents say their child's health has improved.
- 33% of parents say their child's self esteem has improved.
- Participating students have 14% fewer absences and 23% fewer tardies.
- Schools report discipline incidents among BackSnack students have been cut in half.
- Teachers see significant improvement in social skills, responsibility, and classroom participation.