Cooperative Ministries Weekend Backpack Program Add to Favorites

The purpose of the Weekend Backpack Program is to provide nourishing, easy to use food items to the children and youth of the community, during the school year, who are experiencing food insecurities.

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Address: PO Box 733
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Phone Number: 308-633-4347
We are one program under the Cooperative Ministries Council, and serve two large school districts in Western Nebraska. Catpacks serves the students attending Scottsbluff Public Schools, while Puppacks serves the students attending Gering Public Schools. Together we distribute on average 200 backpacks weekly between the districts. As our communities demographics are changing, we are seeing an increased need to help kids stay fed over the weekends. Backpacks are sent home with our smallest preschool students all they way up to our seniors.

Each pack that goes home has been approved by a nutritionist and consists of up to 15 items on regular weekends, with more on long weekends. All food that is provided is kid-friendly in the sense of preparing and opening. Once a month we are able to send home peanut butter with each child.
"As a single parent who unfortunately is unable to work due to medical complications I am forever grateful for the pup pack program. The school has always done a wonderful job about trying to keep it private on which children receive the help. I am not embarrassed to reach out for help but sometimes the kids (not just mine) can be embarrassed or fear of being teased especially the older they get. If the kids weren't in school the day pup packs were handed out the school has almost always contacted us trying to make arrangements for us to receive the help even if that required someone else to come get them. We are so very thankful this program has been started. My hope is when I am back on my feet and more financially stable we can help give back to this program. Thank you so much!"
Gering Public Schools
"The weekend Puppack program that is available to our students and their families is truly a wonderful resource! I have seen the relief on student's faces when they see their weekend pack of food. There are many families that would struggle if they did not have this resource available to them. This program offers them the opportunity to feel safe. Thank you Cooperative Ministries for your service to the community! "
Julie Cochran, Counselor
Gering Public Schools
As a classroom teacher, I can't emphasize enough, how fortunate we are in the Scottsbluff/Gering area to have the Cat Pack program that serves our area students. Little minds have a difficult time concentrating in the classroom... particularly when they have hungry tummies. Some of these kids are unsure of where their next meal is coming from, and the Cat Pack program assures that food will be available to them on the weekends and during holiday breaks, particularly if their next meal is not readily available.
I wish everyone could see their little eyes light up when the Cat Packs are delivered to these children's classrooms, and the sheer joy they have as they tuck their Cat Pack contents into their own backpacks. It is so comforting to know that this program continues to bless children and their families, who might not otherwise be able to provide the extra snacks & food items that are lovingly tucked inside the Cat Packs.
I've also had the blessing of being one of the many volunteers who take time each week, packing the food items in the individual Cat Packs. Knowing how important these food items are to the students who receive them confirms to me that the Cat Pack & Pup Pack Program is truly a ministry to those recipients who are blessed to receive them each week!
Angie Shaw, Teacher
Scottsbluff Public Schools
"What an impact The Cooperative Ministries Puppack/Catpack weekend program has had on our students at Lincoln Elementary in Gering. The backpack program makes sure the Lincoln children in the program have food that can sustain them over the weekend. There is no money for administration costs or rent on a place to house the program. It is run with all volunteer help. 100 percent goes to the children!
Lincoln students have participated in the program since 2010. If our children did not participate, many would go hungry on the weekends. Our families are grateful to the many volunteers who sustain this program. At Lincoln, we can't say enough good things about this organization and of our community for supporting this invaluable program. It is pretty outstanding for an organization existing solely on voluntary support being able to sustain itself for eight years all in the name of children! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"
Pam Barker, principal
Gering Public Schools