These are our Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find what you need please contact us here.

Is Every Meal a 501(c)(3) organization? Are my donations tax deductible?

Yes, Every Meal is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization as designated by the IRS and the State of Minnesota. Therefore, donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You can donate here:  and you can learn more about our financials here: www.everymeal.org/about/financials

EIN: 80-0919680 | MN Charity ID# 3225489

Can I volunteer to distribute the food to the kids?

Every Meal has partnerships with community groups that sponsor each of the schools in our network. Those community groups provide funds for the program in their school, own the relationship with the school, and provide and organize the volunteers who distribute the food each week. Every Meal does not coordinate these volunteers. If you are interested in sponsoring a school with your community group, click here.

There are, however, a few schools needing additional volunteer support and Every Meal manages their volunteers. To get involved please visit www.everymeal.org/get-involved/volunteer

With whom does Every Meal Partner?

Every Meal partners with schools, churches, synagogues, businesses, hunger-relief organizations, and other community partners. Some of our key partners have included: Cargill, Inc., Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, and more.

From where do you get your food?

Almost all of our food is purchased in bulk from reputable food banks, wholesalers, and manufacturers. Visit the Our Food page for more information.

Do you accept food donations?

Yes! Visit our Food Drive page for more information.

Does Every Meal only work in the Twin Cities?

Most of our programs are located in the Twin Cities. However, we are certainly able to implement programs outside of the Twin Cities. Please click here to contact us if you’re interested or have questions about outstate programs.

Is Every Meal a Christian organization?

Every Meal was founded on and motivated by the Christian values of service and sacrifice in support of others in our community – values shared by many religions and faith traditions. We believe that fighting child hunger and fulfilling these values are not exclusive to any one religion. The purpose of Every Meal is to be a food resource for children facing food insecurity. We welcome and encourage those of all faiths and religious affiliations to partner with us in the fight against child hunger.

Why doesn't Every Meal refer to its program as a 'backpack program'?

Every Meal fits into the category of backpack program in every way except we don’t distribute our food in backpacks. Including “backpack” in the description of what we do can then give a different picture of our program. We place food into smaller bags that we then place into the students’ current backpacks. If they don’t have a backpack, the school, our partners, or we will get them one.

Why doesn't Every Meal use backpacks in its program?

We don’t use backpacks for several reasons, but the main two are below:

  1. We feel that kids carrying two backpacks home is too visible of a method. The student’s peers will wonder why the student is carrying two backpacks. By placing a bag of food into the student’s current backpack, we eliminate the visibility a second backpack creates and get the food to the students in the most discreet way we can think of. If a student does not have a backpack, the school, our partners, or we will get them one.
  2. In planning from an operational perspective, we want to make it easy for the kids to get the food home. In making these plans, we realized that backpacks aren’t the best option to use – mainly because they aren’t made to be carried in twos. If you think about it, carrying two backpacks, one on each shoulder, simply doesn’t work that well.
How do you choose what items you put in the bags?

We are committed to using only nutritious food that retains dignity for our kids and families. Visit the Our Food page for more information.