The Friday Backpack Program is a statewide program where backpacks containing ready-to-eat foods are given out on Fridays to participating children. University of Missouri Extension Family Nutrition Education Program (FNEP) supplements this program by providing educational materials to the organizations that assemble the backpacks. The educational materials provided include fun and simple recipes for youth as well as activity sheets to reinforce healthy eating and physical activity.

Each region of the state has a slightly different name for this program (some examples include Backsnack, Backpacks for Friday, Buddy Pack, and Backpack Buddies) and way of implementing it. Therefore, you will have to contact your local food pantry to discuss the process.

Samples of the items we send:

Buddy Pack recipe card

4x6-inch black and white index card that contains one kid-friendly recipe.

Buddy Pack activity sheet

8.5x11-inch black and white coloring page with puzzles and pictures that correspond with the seasonal fruits and vegetables highlighted monthly.

Buddy Pack reinforcement item

This item changes each month but includes such things as Fruit and Vegetable Fortune Tellers, MyPlate Bookmarks, FightBac Stickers, or From the Farm to You coloring book.

Want to be added as a food pantry to our mailing list?
Contact the project coordinator: Tevin Uthlaut at

Funded in part by USDA SNAP.
For more information, call MU Extension's Show Me Nutrition line at 1-888-515-0016.
Running out of money for food? Contact your local food stamp office or go online to