Our Work

The Golden Backpack Program provides food for students in Golden, Colorado who have been identified by a school liaison as needing help from our organization, or who are enrolled in the free and reduced meal program at their school. For many of these students, these school meals serve as their main source of nourishment throughout the week.

1 in 4 students in Golden schools rely on free or subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs for their main source of sustenance. At one local school, a staggering 71% of students are in the program.

When a child does not have access to regular meals and is uncertain of when they may eat again, they are experiencing the epidemic known as “chronic childhood hunger.” Families that cannot afford food or do not have regular access to food are considered “food insecure.”

Kids experiencing chronic hunger may not only suffer from poor health, they can also be denied the opportunity to reach their academic, athletic and social potential. Chronically hungry students may have the following issues in the classroom:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Lethargy or general fatigue
  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Disciplinary problems
  • Increased aggression

Studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that the effects of chronic childhood hunger can last a lifetime.

The Golden Backpack Program operates three programs aimed at ending childhood hunger in Golden, Colorado.

Young girl having a snack at school
Happy kids smiling for a photo

Our Programs

crates of food

Weekend Sack Program

Established in 2008, the Golden Backpack Program provides students who receive free or reduced lunch with a sack containing 4 meals to feed a child for the weekend. These sacks are handed out weekly during the school year.


Summer Lunch Program

Established in 2013, the Snack-N-Wagon, a mobile food pantry, provides healthy weekday lunches to Golden children up to 18 years old during the summer. The program operates for 10 weeks in high-need neighborhoods.

Fresh Food Co-op

Fresh Food Co-op

Established in 2017, the Fresh Food Co-op is a small market stocked with rescue food from Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. Families can “shop” for fresh produce, fruit, dairy, prepared items, and shelf stable food.