Backpacks for Breaks

The Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City is proud to continue its long-standing The Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City is proud to continue its long-standing partnership with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) through the creation of the Backpacks for Breaks program. This service initiative aims to eliminate food insecurity in our community by providing children with nutritious meals during school breaks when free and reduced lunch programs are not in operation.

In April 2021, the Kiwanis club provided 150 backpacks to children for the five-day Spring Break. That was a total of 2,250 meals. Students from the Key Club at River Hill High School and the student group Hawks Fight Hunger rallied to donate over 1,400 individual food items for the project. Again, our project was supported by a generous donation of 2,250 pieces of fresh fruit from Coastal Sunbelt Produce, a substantial grant from the Capital District Kiwanis Foundation, and the transformative support of individual donors from throughout our community. Kiwanis members were joined in service by members and advisors from the Key Clubs at Glenelg High School and River Hill High School, as well as our 2020 Teenager of the Year Award recipient. 

Kiwanis and Key Club members packing backpacks in April 2021

The Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City plans to replicate this project in December 2021 when it provides an additional 150 local children with backpacks filled with meals and healthy snacks for Winter Break. 

5000+ meals. 300 backpacks. 300 children. 30 members. One Kiwanis club.

What is missing? YOU! Join us in eliminating food insecurity for children in our community! A donation of $21 provides one full week of meals for a child. That is three meals a day for seven days – all for $21. Your financial support is critical to the success of this project. Can we count on you to help us make a difference in combating food insecurity?

To make a contribution to Backpacks for Breaks via PayPal, please:

  • Use this direct link to make your gift, or
  • Scan this QR Code to launch PayPal on your mobile device and make your gift.

If you wish to send a donation via check, please make it payable to: Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City. Please note Backpacks for Breaks on the memo line. Checks may be mailed to our club at this address:

Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City
P.O. Box 788
Ellicott City, MD  21041

Thank you to all of the generous donors who have helped to make the Backpacks for Breaks program a reality. Your financial contributions are making a difference in the lives of children in Howard County as our club aims to eliminate food insecurity locally. Special thanks to the Capital District Kiwanis Foundation for naming our club the recipient of a generous matching grant and to Coastal Sunbelt Produce for their donation of 3,000 pieces of fresh fruit to supplement our backpacks in December 2020. Every donation we receive from you helps us to feed children in our community.

The Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City was chartered in 1940 and has served the citizens of Howard County for 80 years. Backpacks for Breaks was launched in December 2019 when the Kiwanis club provided 48 backpacks for elementary school students in Columbia. Each backpack was filled with 30 meals (10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners, and snacks) for the 10-day Winter Break. That was a total of 1,440 meals. The club planned to replicate the effort in April 2020, but plans were changed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July and August 2020, club members rallied together to provide 560 total meals each week to 80 children from 20 underserved families in Columbia. In total, 2800 meals were provided over the course of five weeks.