Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment is a DPS elementary school located in east Denver. Over 70% of our student population qualify for free and reduced meals within the school. Nine years ago, the school recognized a need for additional support for a group of families who were in dire straits. The Food for Kids backpack program was founded through Montclair’s Parent/Teacher Organization, P.E.A.K. This program provides a backpack full of food for a family in need to take home over the weekend. Many of the families who receive these backpacks have little or no resources to feed their families outside of the support provided by the school. The program continues to evolve and has been used as an example to form similar programs in other schools throughout the district. Currently Montclair’s backpack program supports 24 families in need from our school community. The food sent home to the families is procured through grant funds, private donations, donations from the local food bank and occasional grocery store donations. We have a committed group of volunteers who shop for the food and come to the school each week to organize donations and fill the backpacks.
Over the past several years, our committee has been looking for ways to improve the quality of the food that is offered in the backpacks. Working with grant funds received from the Action for Healthy Kids network we have been seeking healthy alternatives to some of the staples most often available at low cost for our program. Our goal is to provide fresh produce from local farms when available. Donations are always needed. Please contact Cajah Reed at 720-424-5431 or Cajah_Reed@dpsk12.org for more information about this amazing program and find out how you can help!