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Fighting Food Insecurity From All Angles

The Backpack Program

When students leave school for the weekend, the last thing they should have to worry about is how they are going to get their next meal.

Backpack is a grassroots program developed by a teacher in 1995 in Arkansas.  Once begun, the movement gained popularity nationally.

CORA provides help for several schools that administrate the national grassroots program known as Backpack. Children identified as having a significant risk for hunger over the weekend are provided with a small amount of food for those few days. CORA aids local backpack programs by accepting and holding donations for purchases (bulk and individual purchases), by providing tax receipts for donors, and by accounting for those funds.

CORA’s supports Backpack programs in the following Chatham County schools: North Chatham Elementary, Siler City Elementary, Virginia Cross Elementary, Pittsboro Elementary, Margaret Pollard Middle School, Bonlee Elementary, Perry Harrison Elementary, Horton Middle School, Northwood High School, J.S. Waters School, Chatham Central High School, and five separate programs supported through collaboration with West Chatham Food Pantry.

If you have questions, please contact Natalie Stewart at

CORA does not select participants or food, and no federally funded food is used for Backpack programs.