Empower Youth provides 750+ weekend food packs for the students of Bethel-Tate School System, Grant Career Academy, Amelia Elementary school, Holly Hill Elementary, Fayetteville-Perry Schools, and Lynchburg-Clay Schools.
Each pack has a unique name associated with the school Mascot or theme of the school. For Amelia and Bethel-Tate the packs are called Tiger Packs and at Grant they are referred to as Weekend Survival packs. The Fayetteville Perry Rockets receive Rocket Fuel. The bags are meant to be an encouragement to families who may find themselves needing a little extra to make groceries stretch. Bags are sent home with the kids every Friday in their backpack and include self-serve foods. Students who participate in the free/reduced lunch program, or who are identified by faculty/staff as needing a hand up, have the opportunity to participate in the program. In each case we maintain discretion for the students who participate.
The cost of the bags are $15/student per month. This project works well when we receive consistent funding and not just food donations. We are able to buy milk at a low price but the cost is still $1800 per month to put just one pint of milk in every bag. The monthly budget for our weekend food bag program is currently at $9000. Beginning monthly donations is easy. Just click on our donation link and you can donate effortlessly through PayPal or you may send a check monthly.
We are always looking to expand our menu with items that the children can easily prepare, as many of our children cook for themselves. Below is a complete list of weekend food items we collect and send home each week:
- Canned Pasta with Meat
- Beanie weenies
- Ramen Noodles
- Easy Mac-n-Cheese (individual serving/microwavable)
- Pop Tarts
- Granola Bars
- Instant Oatmeal
- Individual servings of peanutbutter
- Fruit pouches (NO FRUIT CUPS PLEASE)
- Individual Sweet Snacks
Volunteers on this team are needed for:
- Food collection: Collecting items for our food bags through food drives… great for sports teams, girl scouts, boys scouts, neighborhoods, workplace.
- Packing weekend food bags: We pack bags when the groups volunteering can come. If you are interested you email our coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them for the open weeks. Then when you find a week that works for your group, you pick your day and time and we show up with a volunteer team to lead you through the process.
- Delivery drivers: It takes 6 drivers to run our program. We have 5 drivers who pick up bags weekly. We just need one more to complete our circuit.
- Partner outreach: Quarterly outreach to the staff of the schools we serve by providing baskets filled with items to uplift and encourage the staff. A great way to say “Thank You” for the job they do.
Contact us at email@example.com if you have any other questions regarding this program or if you know of a school that could benefit.
Would you like to start a weekend food pack program at your school?
In order to add a school, we ask that there be at least one teacher, administrator, or counselor at the school who will act as the liaison to distribute the items within the school. We need someone to champion the cause of the weekend packs with the local school community in order for this program to truly succeed. This would include participating in fundraisers that benefit the weekend food pack program for the school.
We are local to Southcentral Ohio but are always up for seeking solutions for schools outside of the areas we currently serve.