The District Five Community raises over 268,000 food items for Snack Packs program
IRMO, SC - In a continued effort to make sure no child is hungry, Lexington-Richland School District Five’s partnership with the Snack Packs program has been a tremendous success. Through its partnership with Ameris Bank in Irmo, the District Five community managed to raise over 268,000 food items in the month of October that will help feed those students and families in need.
Snack Packs is a program that is helping to feed hundreds District Five students. Most school children look forward to weekend, but for some, weekends often mean two days of empty stomachs. “You should be extremely proud of yourselves today,” Snack Packs co-coordinator Stuart Stout told a group of Irmo High School students who gathered to see the results at Ameris Bank. “Eight years ago, $250 was donated to this program. The past two years, over $135,000 has been given to Snack Packs. This isn’t easy to do for a nonprofit, so it is all thanks to you.”
Led by a partnership between the District Five Foundation, McGregor Presbyterian Church and the Optimist Club of St. Andrews-Irmo, churches and service organizations in the area are working to combat the problem of hunger by delivering more than 600 Snack Packs each week to schools in District Five and surrounding area.
A Snack Pack contains 16 to 18 easy-to-eat food items that keep children from going hungry over the weekend, so they can return to school on Mondaymornings healthy and ready to learn. Each week, volunteers supply Snack Packs to more than 20 schools and day care centers. On Fridays, school social workers discretely hand out these Snack Packs to students in need.
Jennifer Felkel, District Five Coordinator of Parenting and Social Work, was on-site at Ameris and shared the importance of time and service the Irmo High School students offered during the food drives. “Instead of saying no or can’t, we in District Five say yes and how,” Felkel said. “For these students, this service work is bigger than just a pep club project. They are making a difference in others’ lives.”
“As you continue to grow and move on in your lives, remember this moment,” said Ameris Bank assistant branch manager Baxter Brown. “You didn’t come here for the hours. You came here to make a difference and this is something you can look back on years down the road and say that you helped a cause that reaches so many in need.”
While this program benefits from volunteers of every age from local churches and civic organizations, it is especially proud of its student volunteers. Stout reiterated how special these times are saying, “Our adult volunteers set a great example for our students and our students step up to the challenge. We’re talking about high school students that could be off enjoying their weekends with friends and family. Instead, they made the decision to devote their time and their talents to help the Snack Packs program and we cannot thank District Five enough for their commitment to make an impact in the community.”