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Operation Backpack


Operation Backpack is funded by member churches of Topeka North Outreach, Inc., and with donations and grants received from area groups, clubs, businesses, and organizations. Please help by clicking the donate button.

Operation Backpack

TNO began its Operation Backpack Ministry in 2006 and now delivers Weekend Food Sacks to 871 children every week at 14 area schools and community centers to ensure children have food every day of the week.

Our mission is to “Feed the Mind, Body & Spirit” of children in our own backyard. To ensure the nutritional needs of children are met when school is not in session, the program provides a small sack of food for youth to take home for the weekend. The food sack contains a two-day supply of nutritional, kid-friendly snacks and single-serving size food items that are easy for youth to prepare. 

Priority determination for the program is given to families who receive free or reduced-price lunches and are single parents, working parents, foster/adoptive parents, grandparent parents, or disabled parents. 

To receive Operation Backpack Weekend Food Sacks, please fill out this form:

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” 
- Mother Teresa

In Jeopardy:


It's back to school time and Topeka North Outreach, Inc. is making plans to provide Operation Backpack Weekend Food Sacks to 871 students at 14 area schools and community centers in an effort to alleviate childhood hunger in Topeka and to encourage children in need.  

This will be our 19th year working to ensure children have access to food EVERY day of the week! 


We need your volunteer help and support with this huge outreach!

This large outreach cannot be done without the help of friends, family, supporters, churches, and community organizations coming together.  


This is the first time ever that we are starting the school year with minimal funds and the continuation of Operation Backpack as we know it, is in jeopardy. The drastic increase in the cost of food, the inability to get large quantities thereby incurring shipping fees, and the rising needs of marginalized children have put us in a tight situation.

Of course, we cannot bear the thought of children going hungry. These kiddos receive free or reduced lunch while at school but are at risk of food insecurity when school is not in session. Operation Backpack fills in this gap to ensure children have food EVERY day of the week. Sacks are sent home with the kids on Friday afternoons when they leave school.


We've had to make the difficult decision to reduce the number of food items in each sack, but we will NOT cut back on the number of children that we serve. With this in mind, we are calling on all our TNO supporters, churches, and community groups to help us collect food and raise funds. We need your help with the following:  


OBP Assembly: We meet the 1st Thursday of every month at Indian Creek Elementary School at 6 p.m., starting on September 7, 2023.  Join the crazy fun of filling sacks with food.  Takes 1 - 2 hours, once per month to fill 3,600 sacks with food.  No experience is necessary and we love multigenerational families and groups coming together to serve.


Food Pick-up Team: pick up food at Sam’s Club and deliver it to the pantry on the last Wednesday of each month. A truck or trailer is needed.  Time Commitment:  3 hours, 1-2 times per month.

Food Sack Delivery Team: Pick up sacks at the pantry and deliver them to schools weekly on Thursdays.  Each driver is responsible for just 1 school.  Time Commitment:  1 hour per week.  We serve 12 schools in the community and need 12 delivery drivers.  


Food Drive/Collections: Host a food drive and collect shelf-stable food items at your workplace, church, or community group.  See our wish list for food items needed. We ask that they be single-serve size, individually wrapped, nutritious food items. We feed close to 900 children every week x 4 weeks per month = 3,600 sacks needed each month. We'd like to put 10 food items in each sack x 3600 sacks = 36,000 food items needed each month.   


Fundraising Drive/Contributions: Share information about Operation Backpack with your friends, co-workers, church, or community groups.  Host a fundraiser at your favorite restaurant.  Donations designated for the Youth Fund can be given online, monthly or one-time, on our website or mailed to our office at: TNO, OBP Program, 210 NW Menninger Rd. 66617.  All financial gifts are tax deductible.


Encouraging Notes/Toys:  Purchased or handmade notes or age appropriate tracts with scripture and encouragement are needed to put in each sack to give spiritual nourishment to the children. Gather your Sunday school group, youth group, or community group together to craft. 3,600 notes are needed each month.


Administrative:  We are always in need of volunteers to help with counting and organizing food, shopping and searching for good prices, picking up food, cleaning totes, calling on businesses for support, writing grants, writing letters, etc.   If you have a loving heart, a strong back, and time, we can use your help!   


Please pray about joining our team and supporting Operation Backpack.  Food prices are increasing.  Donations are down.  Grant awards are uncertain.  We need your help to continue this outreach.  It takes a village!

Julie Falk, Operation Backpack Coordinator


volunteers needed!

Please help us assemble food sacks on the first Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm at Indian Creek Elementary, 4303 NE Indian Creek Rd.  No experience is necessary.

Youth ages 7 and up are welcome with an adult.

Please bring donations of individual serving-size meals and snacks.
Questions? Please contact our Operation Backpack Coordinator, Julie Falk at 785-806-4007.

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