Birdie Bags: Providing Meals for Food-Insecure Children

Imagine sitting in school and trying to focus on learning, but you are hungry. This is the reality that many children face today in northeast Ohio. Numerous studies show that when children attend school with full stomachs, they are better able to focus in the classroom. Teachers see hunger in their classrooms every day and are trying to find ways to combat it with their own resources. We knew that more could be done and thus our Birdie Bag Program began.

3 out of 4

teachers regularly have hungry children in their classrooms

 
 

The rate of
children in the Barberton school  system on a free or reduced lunch is

78%

The rate of food-insecure  children
 under age 18 in  Portage County is

20%

A Birdie Bag contains food, such as oatmeal, pasta, granola bars and fruit snacks, as well as toiletries, and is sent home with children in need throughout the school year. 

Each Birdie Bag contains:

meal icon

9 Meals

Apple icon

6 Snacks

Shampoo icon

1 travel size toiletry kit (shampoo, conditioner, body wash and toothpaste)

Toothpaste and Brush icon

1 toothbrush (every 3 months)

The bags are packed, put into bins and delivered to participating schools in the area. Recipients of the Birdie Bag Program remain anonymous, as teachers put the bags in students’ lockers during an elective period such as music, physical education or art. No child is turned away. If a teacher lets the liaison in their school know, the child is added to the list of recipients.

2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis and his wife, Candace, started the Ben Curtis Family Foundation in 2013, with a mission to help alleviate childhood hunger. In 2013, our Birdie Bag Program served one school, sending home 130 Birdie Bags with hungry children. We currently serve 12 schools, sending home over 2,600 Birdie Bags with those in need. To date, we’ve sent home over 60,000 Birdie Bags!

With the help and generosity of many supporters, our fundraising has allowed us to extend our reach of the Birdie Bag Program. In the future, we hope to support all students in need in our local and surrounding school districts. Your generosity helps to change the lives of the children and families we serve.

Schools We Serve

We currently serve children and families in Kent, Ravenna and Barberton school districts, with the goal of expanding our service area. The following schools currently implement the Birdie Bag Program:

  • Davey Elementary
  • Holden Elementary
  • Longcoy Elementary
  • Stanton Middle School
  • Theodore Roosevelt High School
  • Walls Elementary
  • LEAP School
  • Ravenna Preschool
  • Brown Middle School
  • Ravenna High School
  • Barberton Elementary East
  • Barberton Elementary West
  • Barberton Middle School
If you’d like more information about additional resources available to your school or family, check out a link below.

Make a Difference!

You can make a huge difference in the lives of hungry kids when you support the Birdie Bag Program. Contact us today to get started in the fight against childhood hunger!