The Backpack Crew

We believe there is enough to go around! Our mission is to provide children with food on the weekends when they do not have their school lunch to rely on. Spreading awareness about childhood hunger and inspiring others to start their own programs are also our goals! We also believe that everybody needs a helping hand at some point in our journey of life. There is nothing wrong or shameful in asking for help. Tomorrow it could be you needing a helping hand! Whether it be time, money, food, spreading awareness or a kind word- we all need to do what we can!
How Our Program Works
Our program is completely private. We do not know the identity of our families. Each of our backpacks has a number that is assigned to a family. This way- the family gets the same backpack every week. We know how many people are in each family and pack accordingly. So every week we pack backpacks and deliver them Friday to our school nurse. She hands out the backpacks and the children bring them home to their families. Each backpack has two options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus snacks. On Monday the kids return their empty backpacks to the nurse. We pick them up and repeat the process!!


Our program started in October of 2013 after hearing of an elementary school in the area who had many families still struggling to get back on their feet after Super Storm Sandy. The Backpack Crew quickly became a ministry of The United Methodist Church of Red Bank. We ask for certain foods for our backpacks for a few reasons
A few of our kids carrying the bags home are little! So keeping the weight of our bags down is top of mind. And no glass!
This is very important to us. We do add “treats” to our bags- but we try to keep the contents healthy. And we add fresh fruit for all the kids!
Foods we collect
  • granola bars
  • mac and cheese
  • soup
  • small cereal boxes
  • small plastic jars of peanut butter
  • crackers
  • spaghetti and sauce (no glass jars please)
  • instant oatmeal packets
  • small cans of fruit
Outside of the UMC Red Bank church, as you pull into the entrance, you will see the “Little Free Pantry” the Backpack Crew set up. It is like many of the neighborhood book libraries where people take a book or leave a book for all to share. Here, simple canned and nonperishable food can be dropped off anonymously for those truly in need. This was hand built and donated by a local Eagle Scout. If you are in the neighborhood, drop off some soup, tuna or granola bars to keep the pantry stocked.


Every Monday 5:00 to 7:00



Entrance and parking behind Church.
we offer frozen meat, eggs, dairy products, produce and non-perishables.