In early 2009, a small group of Brookings residents, many of whom were members of the Brookings United Church of Christ, started to explore the feasibility of a local ‘backpack’ program.

As the vision moved toward reality, the group met with officials from both the Brookings Public Schools and Brookings Head Start, who enthusiastically agreed to be partners in the project. In 2011 the summer program was added.

The organization continued to prosper under the umbrella of the United Church of Christ and as it grew, it transitioned into an independent Non-profit in August of 2016. Although there have been numerous changes throughout the years, the common goal has always been to provide healthy snacks and easy to fix meals to children in food insecure homes.

In 2018 Sioux Valley Schools was added to the list of children served, and 2019 added the Elkton School district to those receiving assistance.

The program is supervised by the Executive Director and Food/Volunteer Project Coordinator and overseen by an Executive Board of Directors.

20231031 112812 Cathy Ching
20230918 174329 Cathy Ching


Brookings Backpack Project (9) Sdshp Dropbox

Cathy Ching

Executive Director


Raeann Resized

RaeAnn Thompson

Food & Volunteer
Project Coordinator

Board Members Photo


Sandy Vanderlugt

Chairman of Board

Megan Madsen

Board Secretary

Darlene Dokken

Board Member

Seth Sayler

Vice Chair of Board

Chad Adamson

School Liason

Ali Teesdale

Board Member

Jessica McGeHee

Board Treasurer

Linda Kampmann

Board Member

Kim Gustafson

Board Member

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