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How kidsPACK gives: Meet our Publix Giveback Giveaway winner

See how kidsPACK ensures disadvantaged kids don’t go hungry.

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Hunger is considered an adverse childhood experience that is a risk factor for suboptimal early childhood development.

Photo provided by kidsPACK/Melissa Harp

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Hey, LAL: We’re excited to introduce you to kidsPACK — the grand prize winner of the Publix Giveback Giveaway. Get to know this local nonprofit and learn about the important work they do for the community.


There are disadvantaged children all around us who go hungry every day. For many children, breakfast and lunch at school may be their only source of meals during the week — and the weekend means no food.

That’s where kidsPACK comes in. Here is the good work this local nonprofit (plus hundreds of volunteers) does to ensure Lakeland kids don’t go hungry:

Who they are

kidsPACK partners with local volunteers, who dedicate their time, money, and resources to deliver 1,152,000 meals per year to students. These packaged meals are distributed via local schools every Friday throughout the school year.

Studies have found that household food insecurity is a powerful stressor for children, impacting vocabulary, memory, attention, problem-solving, analytical, and academic skills. kidsPACK works with the School Board in Polk County to identify and distribute food to the county’s most vulnerable students in an effort to get them through the weekend.


Volunteers are crucial to ensuring kids make it through the weekend.

Photo provided by kidsPACK/by Melissa Harp

How they help local kids… by the numbers

  • 4,000: The number of students kidsPACK weekly provides meals to — spread across 80 schools in Polk County + and two schools in Hillsborough County.
  • $400: The cost to ensure one student receives weekend food (two days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for 48 weeks.
  • $305,000: The dollar amount in food that kidsPACK regifted to local community organizations from June-September 2023.
  • 19,480: The number of local kids served in the organization’s history.
  • 5: The number of paid staff members at kidsPACK.
  • 1,300: The number of volunteers it takes to make this happen.

How you can support kidsPACK

Disadvantaged students don’t get the support they need without the help of the community coming together in a big way. Here’s how you can be the change in your neighborhood:


How many local meals has kidsPACK packed + delivered in the organization’s history? Take a guess.