Hundreds of school children will have guaranteed food to eat over the weekends, even if they're on their own, thanks to a program launched in Calgary today.

Weekends and More — or WAM — sends food hampers small enough to fit into a backpack home at the end of the school week and includes food that is ready to eat so kids can feed themselves.

Calgary Food Bank volunteers

A Calgary Food Bank program designed to prevent school children from going hungr was officially launched on Tuesday. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

"The parent may not be there to make the meals for the kids on the weekend. They may have hours that take them away early in the morning until late at night," said James McAra with the Calgary Food Bank.

'Our responsibility'

Esther Peltier teaches Grade 6 at Cecil Swanson School, which was part of a pilot project last year, and said prior to the program they would see hungry children who were obviously not getting enough food over the weekend. 

"Of course there's a need and it is our responsibility, as a community member and a teacher, that is something we have to find ways to help our children," she said.

Last year the pilot project fed 240 students in three different Calgary public schools who would otherwise have gone hungry.

Organizers with the food bank and the Calgary Board of Education hope the program will help kids in 10 Calgary schools by the end of the year.