From the Superintendent's Desk
By Superintendent Leonard P. Lueck
Brodhead Schools Plan to Expand on its Albrecht Backpack Program
The School District of Brodhead is planning to expand its program to help economically disadvantaged students. One in every five students struggles with hunger nationwide. Student hunger has been identified in the Brodhead schools as well. Over 40% of the students at Albrecht Elementary and Brodhead Middle School participate in the National Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Hunger affects a student’s development and daily performance. This program is designed to prepare backpacks with nutritious, easy to prepare food items that students can eat during the weekend. While this need was identified earlier in the year, a group of individuals decided to start a formal program to address this issue. The Albrecht Backpack Program is now growing to include the Middle School and will eventually serve High School students as well.
This group of staff, led by the school counselor, looked at some other similar programs in area districts and organized a program they felt would work in our District. We are currently sending approximately 15 backpacks home for students in the Elementary School as well as a few in the Middle School. The goal is to grow this program to approximately 30-50 student in all three schools. Each backpack contains 2 meals, 2 breakfast items, 3-4 fruits/vegetables, 2 snacks, 2 juice boxes, and 5 granola bars. Backpacks are sent home on Friday and the student brings it back on Monday. The goal is to provide enough food for a weekend. All of these items are donated by staff, parents, and community members.
The process is kept discrete and there is an emphasis placed on confidentiality. Once identified, our School Counselor meets with the students and explains the process to them. The program has been sustainable so far, but as it grows, items and money are starting to dwindle. Our goal is to continue this program and try to expand it to serve other families in need. If you are interested in donating food items or making a monetary donation, please contact Kate Hipenbecker, Albrecht Backpack Coordinator, at 608-897-2146 [ext. 346].