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ERIC Number: ED616874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2021
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
"BackPack" Food Programs Linked to Higher Test Scores for School Children. National Issue Brief #155
Kurtz, Michael D.; Conway, Karen S.; Mohr, Robert D.
Carsey School of Public Policy
Nationwide, over half a million children live in households that report very low food security among children, meaning a child is not eating enough, going hungry, skipping a meal, or not eating for a full day because the household can't afford food. School meals fill an important gap in meeting household food demand during the week but cannot meet needs outside of school hours. To mitigate food insecurity on days when free school meals are unavailable, foodbanks have partnered with schools to create weekend feeding, or "BackPack," programs that provide children with a bag of nonperishable food to nourish them over the weekend. This brief summarizes a recently published article which aimed to understand how these BackPack programs relate to academic success. This research uses data from Northwestern North Carolina tracking the first adoptions and subsequent rapid growth of the BackPack program across schools there. Participation data is combined with restricted administrative student and school data, which allowed the authors to observe how economically disadvantaged students in schools with and without such programs performed on end-of-grade tests in reading and mathematics. Results provide strong evidence that the introduction of the BackPack program resulted in increased end-of-grade reading test scores for economically disadvantaged primary school students. [This brief presents findings from: Kurtz, M. D., Conway, K. S., & Mohr, R. D. (2020). Weekend feeding ("BackPack") programs and student outcomes. "Economics of Education Review," "79."]
Carsey School of Public Policy. Huddleston Hall, 73 Main Street, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824. Tel: 603-862-2821; Fax: 603-862-3878. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of New Hampshire, Carsey School of Public Policy
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A