PV Power Packs is a district-wide weekend food program for students that deal with food insecurity.
In the program, students are sent home with bags of food that have two breakfast and two lunch items, along with two snacks and two fruits before every weekend. There is no financial information required in order to participate in the program. Students in the program pick up their bags from their counselor or a designated person every week.
Power Packs was first started in 2015 as a program at Skippack Elementary. Schwenksville Elementary’s counselor Mrs. Hang had been running a similar program for a good amount of years at Schwenksville. So when a family moved from Schwenksville to Skippack, they had asked if it was possible for them to receive something similar there as well. “I was the Home & School President at Skippack at the time and happily created the program at Skippack,” Sarah Evans-Brockett said.
Power Packs became a district-wide program in the summer of 2018. This came from approaching Dr. Russell with the conversation of students continuing to need food after elementary school. “I kept saying that our 5th graders who move on to middle school don’t suddenly stop needing food anymore because they aren’t at Skippack. I saw a need and I wanted to fill it,” Evans-Brockett said. With the help of counselors, principals, many community volunteers, and a donation from the Perkiomen Valley Foundation, the program was able to start.
As the holiday season continues, the program expands from just giving food to also providing things for families to take part in the celebrations of the days.
“We have done different things over the years,” Evans-Brockett says. They have collected and distributed costumes and cards for Halloween and Valentine’s Day so that kids can go trick or treating and get Valentine’s. They have also done a collaboration with the Daily Bread Food Pantry in which the district holds a collection drive and families can “shop” for gifts there. They assisted the families that could not get to the Pantry or required specific accommodations by purchasing, wrapping, and delivering gifts.
This year, Power Packs hosted their own Holiday Shop at Middle School East for families to shop at from November 29th to December 2. The program relied on generous donations from the community members to support the shop Leftover items are going to be given to the Pantry to support their families.
For more information on where one can donate, what they can donate, and program contact information click here.