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Fueled: Backpack Coalition Sparks Changes with New Name

The Loudoun Education Foundation rebrands the Backpack Coalition program as Fueled.
The Loudoun Education Foundation rebrands the Backpack Coalition program as Fueled.

By Danielle Nadler

The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) is rebranding its student food security program. Known since its inception 10 years ago as Backpack Coalition, Loudoun County’s weekend meals program is now called Fueled.

With a new name, new look, and same student-focused mission, Fueled is a compassionate food security program that provides meals to more than 1,000 food-insecure students each week. Fueled serves students both through meal bags and in-school pantries, delivering to more than 35 public schools throughout Loudoun County.

There were several reasons for the rebranding, according to Fueled Coordinator Kirslyn Schell-Smith.

“People often confused us with other local programs or thought we delivered school supplies,” she said. “We hope the new name, with its modern logo, leaves behind any stigma and is something students feel comfortable embracing.”

Fueled strives to empower and alleviate the traumatic stressors of food insecurity by swiftly responding to critical needs, by leveraging community partnerships, and by thoughtfully sourcing food. Its team is especially passionate about empowering students from historically marginalized populations to reach their full potential.

The Loudoun Education Foundation is appreciative to have the continued support of 100WomenStrong, the Loudoun County-based philanthropic organization that worked with LEF to establish Backpack Coalition.

“We’re thankful to see how the Loudoun Education Foundation has taken this weekend meals program and reimagined just what’s possible,” 100WomenStrong Founder and President Karen Schaufeld. “Through launching in-school pantries, creating new partnerships, and expanding to more schools, 100WomenStrong is excited to see how Fueled will continue to nourish students so that they can focus on learning.”

Nick Cottone, principal at Seneca Ridge Middle School, said he’s seen the positive impacts of Backpack Coalition – now known as Fueled – on about 75 families in his school.

“I can tell you that it has opened up so many resources for our families,” he said. As the school connects students to Fueled, they learn about any other needs the families may have and are able to direct them to other community resources. “It has meant so much to our families, even beyond the regular delivery of food.”

Danielle Nadler, executive director of the Loudoun Education Foundation, thanked the organizations who partner with Fueled to ensure that the program’s donated dollars go further. Specifically, she thanked Loudoun Hunger Relief for providing warehouse space for the program, as well as the collaboration between Amazon Web Services and Metro Logistics for delivering more than 1,000 meal bags each week to the schools.

“Fueled is truly a community-driven program,” Nadler said. “From the hundreds of volunteers who pack and deliver the meals to those who donate food or write a check, it all helps us ensure that students show up to class ready to learn.”

To learn more about Fueled, and how you can support the organization through volunteer pack nights, delivery dates, snack and hygiene drives, or generous donations, please visit

The Loudoun Education Foundation team celebrated the new brand and name for Fueled at the Tarara Concert Series on Aug. 12.

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For more than 30 years, the Loudoun Education Foundation has demonstrated how community support can make meaningful educational impacts in the classroom and beyond. As an independent nonprofit, we engage our community to invest in critical and innovative programs that foster academic success and the well-being of students and educators. We fund programs that stimulate students’ curiosity, create exceptional learning opportunities, and provide needed resources to educators, students and families.

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