The 2,400 backpacks will be used county-wide to help tackle the issue of food insecurity with students and their families. Due to the pandemic, the USDA recently extended their waiver program, which provides free meals to students, through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The waiver program also allows for more flexibility when meals are provided making sure students have enough food during times they may not be in school. The backpacks donated by Keys Energy Services will specifically be used to help provide breakfasts and lunches to all students who need them to help bridge the gap over the Thanksgiving recess as well as on weekends and over other holiday breaks. Teachers, counselors, social workers and principals were asked to keep an eye out for students who show signs of food insecurity. Many students deal with food insecurity every day. Through the generous support of Keys Energy, in partnership with the school district, meals will be distributed to students to help bridge the gap when they are outside of school.“ We will be sending food home with these students over Thanksgiving break,” said Superintendent Theresa Axford. “Starting the week before, over several days, each student will bring home backpacks with the equivalent of 18 meals each to make sure they have something to eat for the entire break period.” “Thank you to Keys Energy Services for this generous donation. The USDA waiver gave us the ability to provide food, but we had nothing for the kids to carry the food home in and they really came through for us,” she added. Parents of students who are facing food insecurity can contact their child’s individual school to ensure they will be included in this program.