The Backpack program has been running independently for over a year since 2019. Previously it was a cooperative effort through the North Country Outreach program in Johnsburg. It is designed to tackle the weekend meal gap, when school-based programs do not operate. Each child is provided with child-friendly, shelf-stable, and easy to prepare food items with an emphasis on nutrition. Fresh fruit is included as well as milk and egg cards redeemable at Stewart’s shops. Minerva’s program operates approximately 34 weeks during the academic year but is looking to branch out into summer offerings. The program is generously supported by private donors, the Minerva Service Organization and local grants and volunteers.