We have hungry children in Mesa, Arizona.

60% of our elementary aged children qualify for the Federal Program of free or reduced lunch at school.  For some of these children, their only food comes from the school lunch programs.  Unfortunately, many have little or no food to eat on the weekends.

ARIZONA BRAINFOOD is a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide a backpack of food for these hungry children on the weekend.

Weekend Backpack Program

With over 200 backpack programs like this in existence around the country, we are able to collect documented statistics. It has been shown that children who are part of these programs have had test score increases in Math up to 23%, Reading 30%, and absenteeism and behavioral issues decreased by up to 40% after their first year of participation. ( Backpack Buddies, Bowie, Texas )

What’s In the Bag?

Each bag of food contains approximately 3,000 calories, 100 grams of protein and 150% of the daily allowance of calcium and 300% of vitamin C.  We are mindful not to provide items that require refrigeration, stoves, dishes or flatware.  We do provide spoons for apple sauce, fruit and the like.  Additionally, the bags of food will weigh less than 5 pounds for ease of carrying for our young recipients.

  • Pop-top ravioli, spaghettios, or stew
  • Juice boxes
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Easy Mac
  • Plastic fruit cups
  • Individual cereals
  • Power bars/ Granola bars
  • Non-refrigerated pudding
  • Peanut butter
  • Tortillas
  • Green Beans
  • Tuna
  • Oranges
  • Trail Mix

Who Are We?

ARIZONA BRAINFOOD is a non-profit organization and is governed by a Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

President – Ruth Collins
Vice President –  Beth Coons
Secretary – Kristen Cowley
Treasurer – Ingrid Ahlstrom, CPA
Director of Operations – Karen Zaharis
Volunteer Coordinator – Melissa Farnsworth
Warehouse Director – Kaci Okland
School Liason – Kristine Kempton
Board Member – Dr. Michael Cowan
Board Member – Broc Hiatt
Board Member – Tony Ham
Board Members – Tim and Kristen Cowley
Board Member – Mayor John Lewis
Board Members – Denny and Nichole Barney