To nourish a mind, we must first nourish the body.

40% of Elementary children in Red Wing qualify for Free & Reduced meals. Sometimes school meals are the only meals they can rely on.

According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), schools in the United States with a subsidized meal rate of 10% or less produced students who scored 551 on reading, second only to Shanghai, China. At the other end, students at schools with a population of 75% or more qualifying for free and reduced meals scored only 446. This data reminds us that US Schools do well by students who come to school ready to learn, but it is impossible to ignore the persistent correlation between poverty and performance.

Packing for the Weekend started in January 2011 at Sunnyside School in Red Wing by sending bags of food home with 30 children chosen by the school.  Each bag contains food for three full meals for the family and additional snacks for children. Because of caring and generous communities, some schools are able to continue the program over the summer months.

Currently, United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties sponsors Packing for the Weekend programs in Red Wing, Goodhue County Education District, Lake City, Cannon Falls, Zumbrota, Goodhue and Wabasha.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, 58,623 missing meals were provided across our service area within these school districts during the 2014-2015 school year!!

Anticipated Outcomes of participation in Packing for the Weekend for students:

  • provide needed nutrition
  • improve attention spans
  • ease anxieties
  • raise academic performance
  • reduce absenteeism
  • increase self esteem

How to help:  

  • Volunteer to donate food items  (must be shelf stable, easy to prepare, nutritionally sound)
  • Donate money to purchase food items
  • Volunteer to fill bags one or two weeks per month
  • Coordinate volunteers for weekly bag filling
  • Volunteer to assist with record keeping or food ordering
  • Collect food items from drop off points
  • Help stock shelves
  • Help distribute posters and marketing materials
  • Make an in-kind donation of products or services (printing, bags, paper etc.)

Contact us for more information!  651-388-6309

Are you interested in starting a Packing for the Weekend program in your community? View our toolkit here

Additional documents you may need include: