As a community, we value family, education, and success. Hunger is an enemy to all three.
Many children in Iowa rely on resources such as the federal free or reduced-priced meal programs. Booster Pak provides sacks of food to at-risk students on weekends and school breaks, when they do not have access to the federal free or reduced-price meal programs. There is no cost to the students or families that participate in any Booster Pak program.
Students are identified for participation in our programs by teachers, nurses and school administrators based on the guidelines for the chronically hungry child, personal observations and knowledge of family circumstances. A school administrator invites families to participate in the program. Families are required to complete a simple registration form to participate. Each child in the family is eligible to participate in the program and take a pack home each week.
Each week, volunteers work to assemble, deliver and distribute packs to each school in the West Des Moines School District. Teachers and staff distribute packs to participating students on the last day of the school week. We strive to ensure confidentiality and preserve the dignity of the child and family.
BackPack Program is a weekend food program for preschool and elementary students provided by the Food Bank of Iowa and coordinated by Booster Pak. This pack includes items like cereal, 100% juice, pop-top meals, fruit cups, yogurt, shelf-stable milk, and snacks. We serve 450 elementary and pre-school students each week during the school year.
Pak Program is a weekend food program for 7th – 9th-grade students provided by Booster Pak. This program serves students at Indian Hills, Stilwell and Valley Southwoods. It is the big brother of the BackPack. Items included in the pack are similar, but serving sizes are bigger to accommodate larger appetites. We serve 35 7th – 9th-grade students each week during the school year.
Our Pantry Program is provided at Valley High School and Walnut Creek Campus. Students at these locations may pick up a sack of food similar to our Pak Program or they may shop for items from shelves in our pantry areas in the buildings.
Each week, the pantry is open at designated times. Students enter the pantry and choose items for their pack. In addition to Pak food items, our pantries carry items like rice, canned meats, canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, popcorn and large boxes of cereal. We also provide a small number of baby items (formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, etc) in our pantry at the Walnut Creek Campus. We serve 10 high school students each week.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color,national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal and, where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.