Backpack Pals

About the partnership…

Backpack Pals is a partnership of several area churches through which we feed hungry children from Clymore Elementary – and now includes more children since Verona Elementary has closed.  Every Friday during the school year now 200+ children may be taking home a backpack full of food for the weekend!  All of the food is kid-friendly and individually wrapped, stuff that kids can open and prepare for themselves.  Want to help us feed children?

 

 

DEAR BACKPACK PALS SUPPORTERS AND VOLUNTEERS,

 Welcome to a new school year! We are excited about the opportunity to provide supplemental food to students at Clymore Elementary again this year. Our first pack will be delivered on Friday, September 1st. This gives the guidance counselors at the school a little more time to organize, given the redistricting that has happened with the closing of Verona Elementary School.

Over the summer, we received a generous offering of food, money and advice from our friends who ran the backpack pals program at Verona Elementary. We are very thankful for all donations that we receive. Food donations can be dropped off at Pleasant Valley Church, coordinated through your congregation, or picked up by a BPP volunteer. Please contact Pennie Garber to arrange for pickup. Please be aware that we cannot distribute any food that is past the best by or expiration date, even if the food may still be safe to consume.

This year we will be packing the following foods: 

Peanut Butter Fruit cups
Canned soup Applesauce Cups
Ramen Noodles Pudding cups
Macaroni and Cheese Single serve cereal
Canned pasta/ravioli Single serve oatmeal
Canned tuna Pop tarts
Granola Bars Cheese crackers
Cereal Bars
 Juice boxes
Single serve shelf stable milk

We will pack every Wednesday at 5:30 pm in the Backpack Pals room on the lower level of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren. Everyone is invited to join us for any or all packing nights. Enter on the lower level through the glass vestibule. There are many opportunities to volunteer. A list of jobs is attached.

This year we are going to trial run a new program component called Birthday Boxes. Each child will receive a package during their birthday month that includes dry cake mix, canned frosting, special birthday napkins and/or plates, and a small treat or toy. Donations are very much appreciated. Since the distribution of these birthday boxes will only happen once a month, please make sure that there is extra time on the expiration dates of items that will be included in these boxes.

Thank you again for all of the support that you show Backpack Pals.

Respectfully,

Pennie Garber

540-248-3771 (work)

540-746-7900 (text/cell)

 

BACKPACK PALS LIST OF VOLUNTEER OPTIONS FOR 2017-2018

 There are many ways you can help out the Backpack Pals program. Some volunteer opportunities are listed below.

 Birthday Box Coordinator: This person will coordinate the creation of birthday boxes that will be distributed to the children to celebrate their birthdays. This person will gather and organize donations, shop for additional supplies (costs will be reimbursed), or delegate the shopping of supplies to other volunteers. This person will work directly with the guidance counselor to determine how many birthday boxes should be delivered each month. This person will deliver or organize the delivery of the birthday boxes each month to Clymore Elementary.

Packing Coordinator: The packing coordinator arrives thirty minutes to one hour early on packing nights and sets up the pack. This includes selecting the foods from the shelves that will go in the pack. Each selected food item is counted out for the number of students receiving a bag for the week.  Although a packing coordinator is needed every week, several people can share this job by committing to one week a month, or every other week, etc. This person needs to be able to lift some heavy items onto the packing table.

Packers: Packers help on Wednesday nights to fill the bags before they are delivered to the school. Packing happens at 5:30 pm in the Backpack Pals room at Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren. Enter through the glass doors at the lower level, near the playground. This job does not have a regular weekly commitment. If it suits in your schedule, friendly faces are always welcome. This can be a nice time of fellowship, and many hands make light work. This job does not require any heavy lifting or special skills. It’s a good job for children and teens.

Recycling Coordinator: This person picks up the recycling from the packing room after the packing has occurred (Wednesday nights) and before the next delivery is made (Monday mornings), and delivers it to a local county trash facility (New Hope, Berry Farm, or Mt. Sidney).  This job can also be shared. This program generates a large amount of cardboard, and we do not have cardboard recycling facilities at the church. It’s helpful if this person can lift bulky objects and transport the cardboard in an SUV or truck.

Food Shopper: Shoppers purchase food for the program at local stores and deliver their purchases to the Backpack Pals room. They are reimbursed for the purchases by sending their receipts to our treasurer, Delphos Howard, at Summit Church of the Brethren. The most common place to shop is Sharp Shopper, but other purchases can be made at Dollar General, Walmart, Costco, etc. It is very helpful when the number of items of one kind are equal to or greater than the current number of children we are packing for.  This job does not have to have a regular weekly commitment. It is important to have transportation to visit the stores to do this job. Reimbursements are written within a few weeks of when they are received.

Bin pickup: This person picks up the blue bins from Clymore Elementary each Monday and delivers them to the packing room at Pleasant Valley before packing on Wednesday afternoon. There is some lifting (20 lbs or so) and transportation is important for this job.

Social Media and Newsletter Specialist: This person keeps in touch with partner congregations through newsletters and/or social media. Newsletters could be written and shared electronically with church secretaries and pastors for distribution to the congregations. This job requires understanding of computer word processing, email and social media.

Thank you Note Writer: This person writes thank you notes to the many people who donate food and money to the program. Thank you notes and postage are provided or reimbursed. This task can be done at home at any time. It would be helpful to have one person in charge of this job so that it is clear who to send the list of donations and addresses to.

IF INTERESTED CONTACT: Pennie Garber, 540-248-3771 (work), 540-746-7900 (text/cell)

THANK YOU!!


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