Brainfood

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 THE BRAINFOOD BOOK PROGRAM 

The United Way Brainfood program partners with the Harvesters 'BackSnack' program to provide a book each Friday to students receiving a weekend food backpack. If you’re familiar with the Harvesters’ program, you know these are the kids who have the greatest need, often identified by school nurses and staff as “visibly hungry” and not necessarily part of the school lunch programs. For many of these kids, these books are their only books. At the beginning of the school year, they are thrilled to learn they can keep the books; at the end of the school year, they are talking about their bookshelves. 

Janet Stallard, superstar volunteer
Janet Stallard, one of our Brainfood volunteers

We know education can be a pathway out of poverty; 'BackSnack' Brainfood hopes to help build that pathway. This program partners with the Harvesters 'BackSnack' program to provide a book each Friday to students receiving a weekend food backpack. All books are collected through planned drives or received as donations from local businesses, organizations, and individuals. A large number of our books come from the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library as well, and many of our dedicated Brainfood volunteers are also LPL Friends! New inventory is sorted and shelved by these volunteers who have been trained to sort the books by reading level. Throughout the year, this program works with local schools to make sure that they have a bounty of books and that they match the appropriate reading levels of their students. In an average year, the Brainfood program collects and delivers about 14,000 books for 400 local students.

If you would like to donate books or volunteer to help contact volunteer@unitedwaydgco.org