Penn-Trafford program targets weekend hunger
A new program starting in the Penn-Trafford School District is intended to make sure students aren't going hungry on weekends.
The Penn-Trafford Community Education Foundation is coordinating a “Backpacks-to-Go” program that is scheduled to begin in April to offer nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals and snacks for some students at the high school and Harrison Park Elementary School on the second and fourth Fridays of the month.
Organizers are hoping to expand the program to the district's other schools in the fall, said Pat Blahovec, a high school nurse.
Blahovec said the program will help some students who have been coming to school hungry on Mondays. About 40 students at the high school and Harrison Park already have been told about the program, but other parents or students can sign up for a backpack if they are interested, she said.
Despite an increase in the percentage of students who qualify for a free or reduced-price breakfast or lunch through the district, there is no income requirement to participate in the backpack program, Blahovec said. Almost 16 percent of Penn-Trafford's 4,040 students are eligible for the meal program this year, up from about 11 percent in 2008-09, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Organizers are requesting that community members donate backpacks to help with the launch of the program. Some seed money will come from the high school's Coffee for a Cause program.
Life-skills students in the district will help with the shopping to provide items such as canned fruit, applesauce, pudding, cereal, raisins and granola bars for the backpacks.
Lauren Traill, an elementary school counselor in the district, said similar programs in neighboring districts such as Franklin Regional and Norwin seem to help lift the spirits of students.
“That's my hope, that we'll be able to give something that they'll look forward to and will take a weight off their shoulders,” she said.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Harrison eyes stretch run
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Warrants issued for women accused of prostitution in New Stanton sting
- NFL notebook: Gifford had CTE, family says
- Starkey: Artie Rowell’s incredible odyssey
- Russia’s crackdown in predominantly Muslim region fuels exodus to ISIS
- Obama signs $607B Defense bill but blasts GOP limits for Gitmo
- Pirates sign free agent 1B-OF Goebbert, RHP Webster
- Pizza delivery woman robbed in Greensburg
- ‘Crisis mode’ near at U.S.-Mexico line as nearly 5,000 children try to cross border in October