NUDM announced Blessings in a Backpack as its 2016 primary beneficiary on Thursday. The Evanston Community Foundation will serve as NUDM's secondary beneficiary.
A nonprofit organization, Blessings in a Backpack provides weekend meals for food-insecure elementary school kids that would otherwise go 65 hours without eating.
“Hunger controls the lives of 15.8 million children in this country, and we are beyond excited that NUDM has the opportunity to help change that,” said Arielle Miller, one of the NUDM 2016 Executive Co-Chairs, in a press release. “When you consider that just $100 feeds a child for an entire year, you realize NUDM has the power to directly impact the overall health and academic performance of thousands of kids.”
NUDM will offer, for the first time ever, an option for students to register early so that they can use the additional time over the summer to fundraise. Early registration will begin May 21 and end May 29. The registration fee this year will be no more than $37 but has not yet been finalized. Those who "do not feel comfortable" paying the registration fee can have it waived via the Office of Financial Aid due to a generous sponsorship provided by the Office of the President, according to a NUDM press release.
The money donated by NUDM will help to expand existing Blessings in a Backpack programs in Evanston's Haven Middle and Oakton Elementary schools, support the development of new future sites in Evanston and Chicagoland schools and help to create new Blessings in a Backpack programs across the country. Lastly, the donation will help Blessings in a Backpack recruit and train new volunteers.
“Childhood hunger is an invisible problem that has spread across the United States,” said Brooke Wiseman, CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, in a press release. “Being the NUDM 2016 beneficiary will allow these kids to know that people in their neighborhood care about them and are working together to keep them fed.”