Missoula County Public Schools received a donation this week of 200 backpacks filled with everything from school supplies to toiletries snacks and books from Feed the Children.

"All of the materials will go directly into our schools into the FRC's instant coordinators that are in each building," Federal Projects Coordinator Trish Kirschten said. "That's the Family Resource Center and the Family in Transition Coordinators that are located in each school. They work directly with any family that happens to be in need that's in the building."


Kirschten said programs like FIT are able to help provide students and families with direct support for basic needs and referrals to external agencies.

"Or any parent can come in and say 'Hey, I heard you guys got some free backpacks, is there a chance I might be able to get one?' and absolutely," Kirschten said. "There's nobody that will be turned away or denied from it. We will absolutely support anyone that steps through our doors and says they have a need."

Kirschten said as of the beginning of January there were 311 identified FIT students in the district – 75% of the total number from last school year.