Food 4 Kids – a United Way of Hastings program

There are Hastings children who don’t have enough to eat.  Weekends without school meals are especially tough.  Food 4 Kids provides bags filled with kid-friendly food for the weekend.  Here’s how YOU can help:

  •          Donate money or specific food items needed to fill the bags.
  •          Hold a Food 4 Kids food drive and pack the bags as a community service activity.

However you choose, please help the children of Hastings come to school with full tummies and ready to learn! 

Program Overview

Background Need:

United Ways across the country, including several in Minnesota, facilitate Packing for the Weekend programs that provide food for students who may not have enough to eat over the weekends.

United Way of Hastings (UWH) researched the need locally and through discussions with school representatives and social workers determined that some Hastings schoolchildren eligible for free/reduced lunches were coming to school hungry on Monday mornings. Students were feeling ill, having difficulty concentrating, and unable to focus in the classroom.


Pilot Program:

In the fall of 2015, UWH conducted a pilot program serving a total of 40 children from October – February (22 weekends). Social workers, and school family support personnel identified and registered the students in the program. Discretion and confidentiality were assured as students received bags of food in their backpacks for themselves and any siblings in the home.

UWH provided initial funding of $2,000 to purchase food and supplies, and cover administrative costs.

During the post-pilot evaluation phase, it was determined there was enough of a need in the school district to officially launch the program (rebranded as Food 4 Kids) for the 2016-17 school year.


Program Launch 2016:

Food 4 Kids was officially launched during UWH’s Campaign Kick-Off on September 9th.

The goal for 2016-17 is to register and provide food bags every weekend for 100 students in 2 elementary schools, and 1 middle school from September through the end of the school year in June.

UWH has established a program coordinating committee consisting of UWH staff & Board members, Hastings Public Schools social workers, community partners, and members of the general public.


Future Goals:

Grow # of students served in current participating schools.
Grow # of schools participating in the program.
Identify additional funding streams.
Provide ongoing volunteer opportunities to encourage community engagement.
Develop support “kits” for organizations and businesses to use when holding food drives.

For more information please contact Karen Hancock, karen@unitedwayofhastings.org

Our Work

We work to create and support programs, collaborations, and initiatives that bring together community members, agencies, government, businesses local churches and foundations with the goal of addressing the root cause of the needs in our community.

We work to Meet Basic Needs and Support Individuals and Families as well as address needs in three impact areas:

  • Education
  • Health & Wellness
  • Financial Stability


Make a Donation

Honor someone special in your life with a gift to United Way

United Way of Hastings - PO Box 353 - Hastings, MN 55033-0353