So what do you think about when someone mentions “dinner?” Do you think about putting something on the grill? Or do you think about stopping by your favorite restaurant for “take out?” Or maybe you think about leftovers in the refrigerator? What if your thought was, “Will there be something to eat?”

Increasingly children in our neighborhoods ask that question. Food insecurity for children in our community is higher than both and state and national averages. The free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs in our schools are the primary source of food security for many of our kids. So what happens on the weekends?

The Sharon Schools Back Pack Program gets food to children over the weekend. Children in the program take home from school on Fridays a bag of food in their back packs that they can fix. The back pack program meets the need.

For the 2021-2022 school year, 300 Sharon kids will be in the program. The cost for the program is $25/child/month, or $225/child/school year. That puts the cost of the program for all 300 kids at $60,000-$65,000 each year. That a large number for our community.

But the caring of the Sharon community is even greater. For over ten years, community members and businesses have worked together with Sharon Schools and the Community Food Warehouse to care for Sharon kids. Our community needs back pack support again. All donations are needed and welcome. To make a donation to Sharon Back Pack please send a check made out to the Sharon Schools Back Pack Program to either the Community Food Warehouse (109A South Sharpsville Ave., Sharon PA 16146), or to The First Presbyterian Church of Sharon (600 East State Street, Sharon PA 16146). Donations can also be made via PayPal on line (www.facebook.com/SharonBackpack).

Sharon Schools Back Pack is also looking to add to its teams that pack the food. If community members or businesses are interested in helping pack at the Community Food Warehouse on one Tuesday evening a month, 6:00-6:30PM, please contact The First Presbyterian Church of Sharon (724-981-2211, ext. 1, or office@1stpcs.org).

Sometimes people wonder if the back pack program works. After over ten years of experience, the support of Sharon Schools, and the witness of numerous teachers, the answer is clearly “yes.” Sharon Schools Back Pack gets food to hungry kids. So when a child wonders on a Friday afternoon about dinner, he or she has security knowing that the answer is in his or her back pack.

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