BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – For the last five years, Project Manager, Devin Cain, for the Belmont County Farm Bureau has worked hard to build up the backpack program throughout the county.

With help from the local community and commissioners, he’s been able to get the program started in six out of the seven schools in Belmont County.  

The goal of the program is to provide meals for children who may not have any food to eat when they go home for the weekend.  

Not only have they seen a positive impact on student’s health from the program, but it’s also helped them academically as well.  

“We purchase bulk ingredients. The community comes together and put the bulk ingredients in a six-serving package, and all the kids have to do is boil water and then they have a nutritious six serving meal. After we pack the meals and the bulk ingredients, we give the schools their meals that that they need for their backpacks. And then they they’re the ones that put the meals in the kids backpacks.” 

Devin Cain | Project Manager of Backpack Program, Belmont County Farm Bureau

Cain said he and his wife were inspired to start a backpack program in Belmont County after visiting Texas a few years ago and seeing a similar program there.  

He says he didn’t realize the “astronomical” need there was for a program like this when he first started five years ago.