Backpack Buddies fills weekend, summer need

Lehighton Area School District  |  Posted on

Lehighton Area School District started the Backpack Buddies program to years ago to provide weekend and summer meals to food insecure children from low-income families at the elementary and middle schools. Meals usually contain items that are ready-to-eat or very easy to prepare. The program currently serves about 70 students with three meals a week. With a more than $12,000 donation from the Lehighton Giant grocery store, the district will be able to expand the program to high school students as well and increase the amount of meals per week from three to five.

The Giant grant comes from a program called Feeding School Kids, a initiative which allows shoppers to round up their grocery tab at the register to the nearest dollar. The extra money collected is funneled into an account that benefits children in the community. In an article in Times News, Michelle Rex, store manager at the Lehighton Giant, said of the program, “We don’t want any child to go hungry. We’re so proud to partner with the district and be a part of this.”

During the school year, Lehighton Area Backpack Buddies provides students with bags of food to carry home for the weekend. But over the summer, Rebecca Karpowicz, an administrative secretary in the district who coordinates the Backpack program, and Tim Tkach, Lehighton assistant to the superintendent, will deliver the meals to students’ homes to ensure everyone’s need is met and to connect with students and their families.