projectshare-kids-with-bookbagsFor many children, weekends, holiday breaks and summer vacation are hungry times.

Our backpack power pack program provides food to children, identified by their school counselors, at risk for going hungry over the weekends and school holidays. The program, run entirely by volunteers, provides these children with “power packs”- a backpack of 15 food items at the start of each weekend or holiday break during the school year. Over the summer,  power packs are provided to children through SHARE’s Summer Reading & Feeding Program and by supplying power packs to other community agencies serving children.

Project SHARE knows that proper nutrition helps children excel educationally.  All of the food in the Power Pack is kid- friendly and can easily be prepared by all school-age children. Canned pasta, cereal, dry soups, fruit cups, pudding packs, string cheese, juice and milk boxes, are typical items found in the backpack power pack. During the 2015-16school year, Project SHARE provides 231 backpacks each week.

The statistics show a great need for the Power Pack Program. Studies from the American Psychological Institution have shown that hunger is one of the most prominent obstacles in hindering a child’s learning process. According to the U.S. Census, 5,358 Cumberland County children live in poverty and the poverty rate in Carlisle (17.7 percent) is twice that of Cumberland County. Project SHARE serves more than 2,400 individuals each month. Of these community members, 36 percent have an annual income of less than $12,000, and 70 percent live in single parent households headed by women.

Businesses and community members can support the 2015/2016 Backpack Program via a Power Pack Sponsorship of $365, which provides a child with a weekly food backpack for an entire year, over weekends, holidays and summer vacation.  That’s only $1 per day!  Currently there are about 200 siblings on our waiting list.

For more information on volunteering or donating, contact Elaine or Carol Baer at Project SHARE.