Welcome to Project Backpack, a ministry of The Lakes Church in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Our mission is to stamp out hunger in area schools one student at a time. It is a heartbreaking reality that some children in our schools go hungry on a regular basis. That’s why Project Backpack was founded in 2010 by The Lakes Church (formerly Shepherd of the Lakes). Over the years, we have witnessed the number of needy children increase, and now we are reaching out for your help. Despite the challenges we’ve faced in the past year, such as rising grocery prices and difficulties in food supply chains, Project Backpack continues to provide essential nourishment to over 280 students every week.


Project Backpack operates on a well-organized system to ensure that food reaches the children who need it most. Here’s how our program works:

  1. Identification: Area schools work closely with us to identify students who are in need of food support.
  2. Grocery Purchases: Every week, we use funds from donations provided by area businesses and individuals to purchase the necessary groceries.
  3. Collection and Delivery: Dedicated volunteers pick up the groceries and transport them to the Project Backpack facility.
  4. Sorting and Packing: At our facility, volunteers unpack and label the groceries, preparing them for distribution.
  5. Tote Delivery: Packed bags of food are placed in totes and delivered to the schools each week.
  6. Backpack Distribution: School staff members discreetly place the bags of food into the students’ backpacks to ensure they have enough to eat over the weekend.
  7. Thanksgiving Support: As a special initiative, Project Backpack delivers boxes of food to families during Thanksgiving. These boxes contain everything needed for a traditional holiday meal, including a turkey, sides, and desserts.

It is through the collaboration of compassionate individuals, community organizations, and dedicated volunteers that Project Backpack continues to make a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable children. Together, we can create a brighter future for our community. Join us in our mission to end childhood hunger one student at a time.