Royal Oak Administration Building
800 DeVillen Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073

Wednesday at 3 pm

To volunteer: Email Us



Shelley Lake

Karen Kaiser
Lewis Lake
Jill Ledingham
Noah Robinson
Edie Saunders
Carol Schwanger



Royal Oak Community Sponsors

Blessings in a Backpack-Royal Oak was formed in 2010 to address the needs of the children attending Royal Oak Schools.  What had been a stable community saw the need rise for food assistance during the economic downturn of 2009.  A group of concerned citizens along with school personnel stepped forward to begin the process.  It was the goal of the steering committee to include all the eligible students at the Royal Oak  Elementary Schools into the program.

The Steering Committee for the Royal Oak program has been very venturesome in hosting fundraisers to begin their program.  They first event “Walk the Red Carpet for Royal Oak Students raised $10,000.  In the spring of 2011, each of the schools hosted different events from carnation sales, bagel sales, penny wars, and sales of Have a Heart…Feed a Child cards.  During the Labor Day weekend, the committee manned a booth at the annual Arts, Beets and Eats Event to raise funds to support their program and to bring awareness of childhood hunger to the Royal Oak community.



The first backpacks went home on January 6, 2012, to children at all the six elementary schools within the Royal Oak School District.

The first week a young boy, after receiving his backpack, came up to his principal and said “Look what I got, a backpack full of food.  Someone cares about me.”  Feeding a child is a simple thing that can be taken for granted.  But, for the families served by Blessings in a Backpack, a year’s backpacks of food can be life changing.  This is why all of us give of our time and energy to this important program.

The Blessings in a Backpack-Royal Oak program has come a long way since 2012.  The first chairperson, Marcie Dryer, stepped down and Shelley Lake picked up the reins.  Her team has done an exceptional job of maintaining and growing the program.  All the schools within the Royal Oak System now participate in the program.  The major event to fund the program is a Trivia Night held in the spring.  Unfortunately, in 2020, the event had to be postponed and later cancelled because of the Pandemic.  Look for this event again in the spring of 2022.

In 2020, the committee once again saw a great need and launched a summer program for the children who had been receiving bags of food during the school year so they would continue to receive their weekend food during the summer months when they are not in school.  It did not stop there. The Blessings in a Backpack-Royal Oak steering committee was very innovative during the Pandemic, home deliveries were made to our Blessings students so they would not go hungry.

All this would not be possible without the volunteers who assist with this program.  We currently have 30 wonderful, dedicated volunteers helping us pack, send thank you notes and deliver Blessings in a Backpack bags to the children right here in Royal Oak.  If you would like to get involved as a volunteer or member of the steering committee and make a difference in a child’s life, please contact us.

Blessings in a Backpack Trivia Night

Look for Trivia Night to return in the spring of 2022.  We are in the planning stages.  Check back for details

Royal Oak Pandemic Response

The volunteers for Blessings in a Backpack-Royal Oak went beyond the norm to make sure the children of their community continued to receive their weekend food. Read More…

Royal Oak Civic Foundation First Fundraiser

The newly formed Royal Oak Civic Foundation held its first fundraiser to focus on hunger in the community.  They selected three non-profits to be the recipients for the proceeds of this event.   Blessings in a Backpack-Royal Oak was selected along with Open Hands Food Pantry and Salvation Army. Read More…