This service started in 2011 as we noticed more homeless clients in need. This program addresses the needs of the most vulnerable of populations, the homeless youth, and adults living on the streets, by providing them with backpacks loaded with on-the-go food, beverages, a can opener, and hygiene items.
The Transitions Backpack Program supports the City of Tacoma’s Household Stability Service Focus Area by providing Tacoma residents with the emergency food, household goods, hygiene items, baby food and supplies, and pet items they need during temporary economic or personal crisis. Homeless clients can come to the food bank every day it’s opened for food and other necessities.
On average, each backpack pack has 25 lbs. of food and non-food product with 9 meals per pack. In the first year we gave away 600 backpacks to the homeless and we continue to give away that much each year.
We provide basic needs to a community who are not only struggling financially but have no place to call home. This backpack service reduces the barriers most of the homeless experience when trying to obtain food assistance. By alleviating food as a burden and fulfill at least one basic need, we can connect them to other resources, including affordable housing options.