What Back to School Means For Some

by Stephanie Hsu

On Wednesday I dropped my son off for his first day of school in Seattle. This is not a new experience for us, since he’s a teenager now. But each year is new and exciting, and brings with it gratitude for the growth and possibilities our schools offer to our children. I trust he’s having a great week!

Our Three Squares program also goes back to school this week, as students return to their classrooms and friends in the nine school districts and 47 high-need schools we will serve. Those students are also looking forward to the guarantee of free or reduced-price breakfast and lunches at school. For many, the summer was a long, hungry time. When school is out, children and families worry about where those meals will come from in their limited household food budgets.

Three Squares helps reduce this worry on weekends and school breaks by providing take-home, supplemental food in children’s backpacks. Volunteers in our Kent, Yakima, and Spokane warehouses will pack bags with breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack for two days for students to enjoy on weekends. Staff in the schools served by Three Squares identify students who are coming to school hungry on Mondays, and set up a respectful, anonymous way to send this food home with them for each weekend.

Last year, Three Squares provided more than 151,115 meals in backpacks to students in these schools districts: Seattle, Highline, Kent, Clover Park, Hoquiam, Yakima, Toppenish, and Spokane. We are able to add Moses Lake as our ninth school district this year. We are prepared to provide over 27,000 meals per month at participating schools.

We are able to be part of the newness, growth, and possibilities of this back-to-school time through partnerships with school personnel, and especially because of the generosity of corporate, foundation, and other donors who sustain this work from year to year. Thank you for helping students thrive!

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