The School Food Resource Guide

By The Volunteer Center

Here are some great food-related programs.



Food Pantry Programs

Backpack Beginnings Food Pantry Program

      • Description: “The objective of our Food Pantry Program (FPP) is to reduce childhood hunger in our community by providing direct access to free and nutritious food to children in need. Our program reduces the negative impacts of hunger so children are ready to learn in school and succeed in life.”

        • Food pantries are located in the schools providing direct access to fresh foods, canned and dry goods, proteins, fruits, vegetables, breakfast foods, canned milk, 100% fruit juice, and more.

        • Food pantries are stocked every other week by volunteers and are managed day to day by school staff.

      • Program Requirements:

        • Space and shelving for food items.

        • School staff to manage access.


      • Did you know?

        • 13,000 pounds of food are delivered each month

        • 24 Guilford County Schools served

        • 3,000 people fed each weekend

For more info contact:

Parker White
[email protected]


Backpack Programs

BackPack Beginnings Food BackPack Program

    • Description: The objective of the Food BackPack Program is to fight childhood hunger in our community by filling the weekend food gap for children in need. They provide child-friendly, nutritious food directly to children in need over the weekends. All food is child-friendly, packaged in four set menus including milks, proteins, fruit, vegetable, cereals and 100% fruit juices. Food is delivered each Thursday by 150+ volunteers so children have food for the weekend.

    • Program Requirements:  To learn more about requirements contact BackPack Beginnings Food BackPack Program.

    • Did you know?

      • BackPack Beginnings delivers 48,000 bags of food during the school year.

      • 1,500 children are fed each weekend!

​​​For more info contact:

Parker White
[email protected]

Out of the Garden Project (OOTGP) Operation Backpack

    • ​Description: Operation Backpack partners with over 50 Guilford County schools and provides 1,900 students and their families with food to take home for the weekend every Friday. The goal of Operation Backpack is to ensure children are fed and ready to learn by Monday.  Operation Backpack is different from some other backpack programs because it provides twice the amount of food for the family to share over the weekend but costs the same as the child friendly versions.

    • OOTGP also provides 500 of the child friendly bags through the United Way of High Point for schools and afterschool programs in High Point.

    • ​Program Requirements: Our desire is not simply to throw food at a problem but work to solve some of the chronic problems of poverty.  To learn more about requirements contact Out of the Garden Project’s Operation Backpack, [email protected]

    • Did you know?   Out of the Garden serves more than 10,000 meals each week through their backpack program alone!

For more info contact:

Don Milholin
[email protected]
336.430.6070 ext. 5.

While some schools work with the above mentioned programs, others have coordinated with local faith communities to provide weekend food backpacks for students.



Garden Programs

Guilford County School Garden Network

    • Description: The Guilford County School Garden Network brings together community stakeholders to create and sustain school gardens in Guilford County. School gardens are learning labs that can enrich every part of a school’s curriculum. Kids are more likely to eat something that they have grown, and gardening exposes kids to a variety of new food! Gardening also decreases stress and increases physical activity. The School Garden Network is a program of the NC Cooperative Extension, Guilford County Center.

    • The Guilford County School Garden Network provides:

      • Networking opportunities with other educators (by connecting you to others providing garden-based education to share successes, best practices and questions on the SGN Facebook page and in person at events)

      • Professional development and workshops (about seasonal gardening information and growing techniques; specific garden curriculum and integrating the garden with standards)

      • Monthly E-Newsletter (receive grant opportunities, garden-related curriculum, and activities, notice of upcoming events)

    • Program Requirements:

      • Leadership team

      • Garden site

      • Curriculum

      • Seeds

        • Guilford County Cooperative Extension keeps a supply of seeds for donation year-round (as long as supplies last).
      • Volunteers:

        • Share Volunteer Needs - Through a partnership with The Volunteer Center of the Triad, the School Garden Network is able to share volunteer opportunities in school gardens out to a wide community of volunteers. Those in need of volunteers for their school garden must join the School Garden Network email list and fill out a volunteer request form.

        • Extension Master Gardener SM Volunteers (EMGV) School Garden Mentors:

          • Site visit and Consultation

            • Garden site selection and planning.

            • Advice on garden team development.

          • Gardening Questions

            • Plans for garden construction and planting.

            • Garden advice on how to plant, water, weed, mulch, harvest, etc.

Did you know?

  • More than 70 school gardens have been started in Guilford County

  • Children who are familiar with growing their own food tend to eat more fruits and vegetables

  • Students who participate in school garden programs score higher on science achievement tests

  • Students report feeling calm, safe, happy, and relaxed in their school garden


For more info contact:

Quina Weber-Shirk
[email protected]


Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Infoline
(336)641-2404 or [email protected]


Urban Teaching Farm

  • Out of the Garden Project is excited to introduce their 2nd full season at their NEW Urban Teaching Farm!
    The Urban Teaching Farm initiative was launched in November of 2018, with grant funding on 3 acres at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in the historic Warnersville neighborhood, just south of downtown Greensboro. The goal is to improve access to fresh foods, offer service learning opportunities, and teach the skills of regenerative agriculture to the next generation in our community.

For more info contact:

Don Milholin
[email protected]
336.430.6070 ext. 5


Hunger Hurts Curriculum

    • The Hunger Hurts Activity Pack was created by The Volunteer Center's Service-Learning Leadership Camp participants. Students guided by GCS teacher, Kayte Farkas and Leslie Isakoff, from A Simple Gesture, explored the issue of hunger and created a resource that can be used in the classroom. The Hunger Hurts Activity Pack is geared toward older students and includes five activities that can be completed individually or completed all at once as part of a mini-unit.  Activities include a pre-assessment sorting activity, WebQuest, creative timeline and door/bulletin board task, and Hunger Banquet.  Full lesson plans, instructions and rubrics have been provided.  Click here for the Coordinator's Guide.

    • Suggested use: A GCS Civics and Economics teacher weighed in for guidance and pinpointed the following places where this packet might be most useful in relation to YOUR classroom studies:

      • Local government and the creation of public policy to address local issues

      • Types of business-the roles of non-profits and how they interact with government

      • Local funding/expenditures

      • Personal finance-budgeting household expenses, disposable income, comparison shopping

      • Economic systems

      • Constitution and rights-is food security a right or responsibility?

      • Needs vs. wants- how individuals make decisions

​​Did you know?

Hunger 101

  • This curriculum was created by BackPack Beginnings, a Guilford County nonprofit.
    Our mission is to provide children in need with nutritious food, comfort items or certain
    basic necessities through the use of backpacks and other efficient means. By ensuring
    food and basic necessities are given directly to children in need, we make
    a positive and lasting impact on their health and well-being.

  • We have four programs:

    • Food Pack

    • Food Pantry

    • Comfort Pack

    • Clothing Pantry
      In 2015 through these
      four programs, we served over 2,000 children with food assistance weekly and 3,000
      children with comfort items annually

  • The purpose of this curriculum is to provide a platform through which to engage and educate local children on the issues of hunger and food insecurity. By educating our children to understand, and critically engage, facets of these endemic issues, we hope to raise awareness of hunger in Guilford County. The following activities are crafted to be a school curriculum but can easily be adapted for less regimented learning – from school clubs, to church meetings, to home learning.



  • For more information on BackPack Beginnings, including donation forms and volunteering opportunities, please visit their website:​ 

Other Resources