PORTLAND, Ore. — More than 300 people stuffed food sacks for the Portland Backpack program, a nonprofit that provides food for more than 340 kids every weekend.

“We’re part of the food system for families. One example, we had four kids from one family last year. The school found out, that had been the only food in the house. The fifth-grade student was preparing food for his siblings so it’s very important that the food is passed directly to the students,” said Diane Rheos, the executive director of Portland Backpack.

The sacks are distributed to four Portland Public Schools, including Woodlawn elementary school, where KGW staffers Cristin Severance and Gene Cotton have been spending the 2019-2020 year telling stories.

“We will get 700 lunches packed in less than 30 minutes. It’s an amazing way to pull the community together and get the job done,” said volunteer and Woodlawn principal Andrea Porter-Lopez.

Last year, Portland Backpack provided 11,110 weekend food snacks to kids through the program.

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About Inside Woodlawn:

KGW investigative reporter Cristin Severance and photojournalist Gene Cotton were granted remarkable access to spend the 2019-2020 school year chronicling life inside Woodlawn Elementary School in Northeast Portland. Their reporting offers a rich view of how teachers, administrators, school staff and parents overcome many challenges to serve students. Join us as KGW News goes Inside Woodlawn.

Please follow our year-long series on YouTube, Facebook and by using #insidewoodlawn on Twitter and Instagram.