WEEKEND BACKPACK BUDDIES PROGRAM
What – The purpose of the “Backpack Buddies Program” is to provide chronically hungry children who attend Washington District and Cople elementary schools in Westmoreland County with nutritious, nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food during the school year. Every Friday, and on the last day before a school holiday, selected students are discreetly provided food in a plastic bag to take home with them for the weekend. Each bag contains enough food for a child at risk for hunger to assemble into six healthy meals. This program is made possible through a partnership between the Washington District Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and the Healthy Harvest Food Bank.
Why – The number of disadvantaged children and at-risk children in Westmoreland County Public Schools is very high compared to neighboring counties. In the 2015-2016 school year approximately 70% of the student population was classified as disadvantaged and qualifying to receive free or reduced priced lunches. When children are chronically hungry their focus is on surviving – not learning. Other school divisions that have implemented similar programs have seen improvements in academic success, positive behavior and school attendance.
How You Can Help – This program is only made possible by community support. Please join us in fighting hunger for our at-risk children either by (1) making a financial donation or (2) bringing food items to church on Sunday mornings. Checks should be made payable to Ebenezer United Methodist Church and designated for the Westmoreland County Backpack Program. Food items (many of which can be purchased at amazon.com for a reasonable price) needed to fill one backpack (one bag) are described below:
CONTENTS OF ONE BACKPACK
Two containers of single serve low fat shelf- stable white milk
Two boxes of single serve breakfast cereal (Without peanuts)
Two nutritional snacks: nutria grain bars or granola bars (Without peanuts or peanut butter)
Two single serve cups of apple sauce or fruit
Two easy open (pull top) 15-ounce cans of peas, corn or string beans
Two easy open (pull top)15-ounce entrée cans (spaghetti, spaghetti and meat balls or pasta in either tomato sauce or tomato and cheese sauce)
Ebenezer United Methodist Church
Founded 1838 - Sharing God's Love Through Service