Manna's Take Home Backpack Program


In an effort to feed children in need outside of Manna’s normal operating hours, a weekly take-home backpack program for Durango School District 9-R students and the Southern Ute Boys and Girls Club was established in 2010. Volunteers assemble food bags (“backpacks”) that consist of seven meals for the weekend. Each backpacks consists of two breakfasts, two lunches, and three dinners for each recipient, in addition to two snacks and one vegetable. Any food insecure child can qualify for the program, many of whom are identified through their school’s free and reduced lunch program.

If you have questions regarding this program, please email our Backpack Coordinator, Oona King, at


“As a nurse for the Durango School District, I continually witness the benefits of the school backpack food program provided by Manna Soup Kitchen. I am grateful to Manna for providing food to our students in need. Most of the recipients of the food bags are on the free/reduced lunch program and the food that we send home helps to support them over the weekends or at times of need during the school week. We distribute the food bags with confidentiality, but also use this program to help us identify students and families who may benefit from other services provided in our community. With this connection, we have been able to address homeless situations, assist families in enrolling in Medicaid, connect students to academic assistance and seek out behavioral health services. We cannot thank Manna enough for their philanthropy.”

“As we are ending our second school year of the backpack program through Manna, the Boys and Girls Club is very pleased and humbled by this partnership. The backpack program has become a very important resource in the lives of some of the kids who receive backpacks each week. We have been able to provide food for 32 individuals in the Ignacio School District. The young people who receive the backpacks are very grateful to us when we deliver the food. To see the smiles on their faces, warms our hearts. They really look forward to seeing us and getting a bag each week. Part of the Boys and Girls Club mission is to serve young people who need us most. The backpack program has provided us with another resource to do just that. From the staff’s point of view, it has been a great experience to build relationships with these young people and their families. It has added a very rewarding element to our organization. We look forward to continuing this program in our community with the hopes of expanding it in the future.”

back pack program

Items Provided in Weekend Backpacks:

Seven meals for the weekend: two breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners, two snacks and one vegetable.

  • Canned soup
  • Canned tuna/turkey
  • Mac & cheese
  • Dehydrated fruits
  • Fruit cups
  • Canned vegetables
  • Granola bars/snack bars
  • Ramen
  • Canned chili
  • Canned fruits
  • Individual oatmeal packets/grits
  • Boxed dinner
  • Nuts
  • Snack bags