According to the The Pennsylvania Department of Education more than 40% of the school-aged children in the Central Susquehanna Valley qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches . It is wonderful that those school lunch (and breakfast) programs exist, but what about the weekends? School holidays? Snow days? Summer?
The Caring for Kids program in the Shikellamy Area School District is trying to meet that need. According to the PA Department of Education, more than 500 of the 700 children in the Chief Shikellamy and Grace S. Beck elementary schools qualify for free or reduced lunches. That’s right: more than 70% of the children in those schools have families who may need help to make sure the kids eat well over the week-end. This is where the Caring for Kids backpack program comes in. Two teachers started the program for their classrooms. The program has now expanded and they send home food each Friday for hundreds of kids to help get them through the week-end.
Here is an example of what goes into a weekend backpack for one child.
What does it cost to feed a child out of school? $1.25 a weekend. $45 – $50 for the school year. Money we raise through Love Flows will provide the program with gift cards they can use at local grocery stores. Can you help? Donate now.
The teachers who run the Caring for Kids program are willing to teach other school districts how to start a program for their kids. Love Flows: the LOVE Project is working to create those relationships so that all the kids who need the help can get it. Love Flows funding can help these conversations and training happen.
We want to be the Valley with No Hungry Children. We can get there, if we all help.