We’ve Got Your Back (WGYB)
WGYB is a weekend nutrition program created by Giving Children Hope to feed homeless children in Orange & Los Angeles counties. Students enrolled in the program have been identified as homeless through the school districts under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. For the last ten years, this program has provided food and nutrition education for children and families in need. Each child in the program receives enough food for three to four family members throughout the weekend. Because these students do not have access to the free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs over the weekend, this sustainable food source ensures that they always receive the nutrition they need. Due to the stigma attached to homelessness, the program is presented as a Weekend Nutrition Club where students can learn about proper nutrition.
In partnership with over 60 schools through WGYB, Giving Children Hope delivers over 1,200 backpacks full of nutritious food every week to these students and families so that hunger is not an impediment to learning. As a result, we are proud to serve more than 4,000 individuals with over 15.3 tons of food every week living in poverty throughout Orange & Los Angeles counties.
Partnerships Strengthen Communities
Every week WGYB delivers backpacks full of food for students to pick up through their schools. Weekly volunteers fill the backpacks at the Giving Children Hope headquarters in Buena Park. The backpacks are then delivered by Giving Children Hope staff and volunteers to the participating elementary, middle and high schools throughout Orange County. Because we believe that getting these families to a better place involves more than a nutritional backpack each week, we partner with representatives at each school to connect families to other services in the community. Each school appoints a site coordinator, social worker or nurse to serve as a liaison between students and Giving Children Hope. The school liaison is instrumental to the success of the program. Through our personal method of backpack distribution, children and their families are encouraged to connect more with teachers and school liaisons, allowing for each child to be “case managed” within their own school. With direct contact each week, school liaisons are able to understand more about the specific needs of each family. Giving Children Hope is then able to leverage our networks of partners and resources to benefit these families even further. Our schools report that children benefiting from our WGYB program become more confident knowing they have a team of individuals who care about them and are supporting their families with consistent food and other basic needs.
If you are a school liaison or representative interested in becoming a part of WGYB program, please click here.
Please email Christine Sanchez for more information.