An Open Message to our Volunteers and Supporters:

More than 15 years ago, it was the dream of one man here in Round Rock to find a mission, a
project that could bring different groups of people all over the community together to work
towards a common goal and serve Round Rock’s needs. Dan Rybaski passed that mandate on to
me and for over 10 years all of you have been dedicated to just such a cause, The Backpack
Coalition, united to feed the hungry students in our school district. Along the way, we’ve raised
and spent over $1 million and distributed millions of meals to thousands of students in need.

On Sunday afternoon, August 16, 2020, the Coalition partners met to discuss the challenges facing
service in the Covid-19 environment.  We understood and all agreed that the service model we
created is no longer viable in this environment; our supply chain is completely broken this year
with HEB unable to accept ANY special orders or guarantee delivery on any key items and other
sources unable to supply those necessary items; while we found a somewhat workable solution
for safely continuing operations at the Backpack House, we still had no solutions for actually
GETTING the food to the house without putting large numbers of volunteers at risk.

In consideration of these obstacles, the Backpack Coalition has decided to withdraw from service
to Round Rock ISD and to disband the organization. There are others in the community who
have taken up the challenge, and we leave knowing the students will be fed…. Meeting the need,
fulfilling the goal we set for ourselves long ago.

Thank you for all your support, the hours you’ve stood by our sides driving, loading and
unloading groceries, making kits at the Backpack House, and serving our students….wiping
noses and tying shoes all along the way. We will miss those students and I will miss all of you.
But even though we won’t be operating, hunger is still very real in our community. Please find
another channel for your service, your financial support, and stay involved!

Kathy Ford
Backpack Coalition Chair

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