April 30, 2019

Second Harvest Receives Donation from Leidos to Combat Childhood Hunger
Funding to Support Weekend Backpack Program for Local Students in Need

PASCO, WASH. - Second Harvest has received a $5,000 donation from Leidos to fund childhood hunger-relief efforts in the Tri-Cities. The donation will support Second Harvest’s “Bite2Go” backpack program, which provides weekend food kits for local elementary school children in need.

The Bite2Go program addresses a critical need, with one in five kids in Benton and Franklin counties being food-insecure, meaning they don’t have access to enough healthy food or might not know where their next meal is coming from.

More than 57% of kids in the Tri-Cities rely on school meals as a primary source of nutrition. These same students are often at-risk for hunger on weekends when they are without access to school meals. Bite2Go kits include meals and snacks in a mix of easy-to-open, nonperishable, single-serving items that don’t require cooking. Sponsorships by local corporations, businesses, churches and individuals offset Second Harvest’s costs of purchasing the specialty items.

Bite2Go weekend food kits are currently sent home to 750 students in 17 area schools each week. Funding from Leidos will allow Second Harvest to expand the program so that more students will receive needed food kits. “We cannot thank Leidos enough for their generous ongoing support of our Bite2Go program. Their contribution will help us reach more students who are at-risk for hunger on weekends, to improve their overall health and security,” said Chelsea Armstrong, Regional Executive Director.

Leidos is the majority owner of local Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance. Bob Wilkinson, president of MSA, is proud of MSA’s longtime support of Second Harvest. “Leidos is honored to partner with Second Harvest Tri-Cities to support the Bite2Go program. Without this critical program, many students would lack access to nutritious food over the weekend. We know that well-nourished kids will be better able to learn and grow and we’re excited to help expand this program to make an even bigger impact.”