The mission of the Backpack Program it to provide hungry students in Yakima with nutritious meals on the weekend so they can come to school Monday ready to learn.


A large number of students in the Yakima School district rely on school breakfast and lunch during the week. For some children the last meal these children have is Friday’s school lunch, and they don’t eat again until lunch on Monday. The Backpack Program attempts to bridge that gap by sending these children home with backpacks full of non-perishable foods. Backpacks provide a discreet way of transporting the food home because all children carry them. The food is kid friendly— it can either be easily prepared by a child or eaten right from the package. Nutrition is always a consideration, as is providing a variety of foods each week.  The Backpack program began in 2012 and serves a total of 41 students from Whitney, Nob Hill, McClure and Robertson Elementary schools. 


There are no financial or other qualifications.  School staff identify and recommend students for the Backpack Program.


  • The school will be responsible for identifying and signing students up for the program.

  • Yakima Alliance Church (YAC) provides enough backpacks for each student in the program (plus extras for not returned backpacks).

  • YAC provides all the food for the Backpack Program through collection and fundraising to purchase needed items.

  • YAC packs the backpacks and deliver them to the school on Friday morning.

  • The school is responsible for distributing the bags to students in the program. (this may vary by school depending on what works best for them)

  • Students return the bags to the school no later than Tuesday and YAC will pick them up.


  • Instant Oatmeal

  • Cereal

  • Can of Chili

  • Beef Ravioli

  • Can of Soup

  • Package of Macaroni and Cheese

  • Fruit Cup

  • Cereal Bar

  • Granola Bar

  • Package of Cookies

  • Package of Crackers

  • Pudding Cup

*This is an example, however each week the exact items may vary due to which items are in stock.


The Backpack Program is supported by individuals or businesses who donate food or contribute financially.  During times when support is low Yakima Alliance Church will ensure that the program does not leave any student without a backpack.

The Backpack Program is a ministry of Yakima Alliance Church.

Donations can be made to Yakima Alliance Church w/ Backpack Program in the memo.

902 S. 36th Ave. 

Yakima, WA 98902


For more information or questions please contact Dave Oldenkamp | 509.494.4029