Now more than ever, food insecurity has become a harsh reality for many families. Thankfully, there are organizations scattered in communities across the country that aim to help families fight this battle, and Regional Representative and Junior Writer Samara Cogan decided to help one Seattle program continue its mission of combating food insecurity for local children!
About the Healthy HIP Packs Program
The Healthy HIP Packs Program by the Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) is a weekend food backpack program that provides nutritious and kid-friendly food to children who are part of families in need when school meals are not available. HIP packs contain enough food for six meals and two snacks per child. HIP emphasizes whole grains, milk, high-quality proteins, fresh fruits, and products with no added sugars. The packs are also used to share information with families about nutrition, free community events, and local resources. The program started in 2008 in one school, serving 6 kids. Now, it serves over 300 kids in more than 10 different Seattle schools.
Hunting for Healthy Snacks
Shopping for items was a breeze for Samara because there was no guesswork involved! HIP sent her a detailed list of the food items it needed, so she could easily make a game plan for her shopping trip. Samara left the grocery store with two shopping carts worth of items, containing healthy foods like granola bars, Tasty Bite meals, peanut butter snacks, and oatmeal.
Samara and her mother arrived at the program’s headquarters to meet Executive Director Srijan and to drop off donations. The organization was actually in the process of setting up for their Community Appreciation Night events, but Srijan, along with his helper, took time to assist Samara and her mother with bringing in supplies and even to talk to them about HIP and Random Acts!
Srijan invited Samara and her mom to stay and make dumplings in the on-site kitchen, which was the group activity and appetizer before the big meal. Although they did not get to meet any of the individual recipients of the HIP packs, they were able to mix and mingle with the many other supporters of HIP!
If you would like to learn more about the Hunger Intervention Program and how you can help further its mission, be sure to visit its website to find out more about the many programs that it offers and the different ways to give to the organization.