Second Harvest Food Bank can now serve hundreds more children through its Backpack Buddies Program
To celebrate its 95th year in business, GIANT Food Stores will be making a big impact within its footprint communities. Christopher Brand, Director of External Communications and Community Relations for GIANT, announced that the grocer will be donating $216,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania’s Backpack Buddies Program. Mr. Brand says, “Being in the retail food business for 95 years, we know we can and must make a very big difference in the fight against hunger in our many communities.”
Second Harvest’s Backpack Buddies Program provides a backpack of kid-friendly food to over 700 children each week. Many low-income children eat their meals at school through government subsidized breakfast and lunch programs. For them, weekends can mean going hungry. Each child in the Backpack Buddies Program receives a package of food every Friday to help them supplement their meals until they return to school on Monday morning. The food is provided by Second Harvest to the schools and after-school program sites that administer the program.
Now, thanks to the generosity of GIANT Food Stores, Second Harvest will be able to expand the Backpack Buddies Program to additional sites, ultimately providing food to hundreds more children. One new site is Hamilton Elementary School in Sciota, PA. Principal Dr. Karen Owens-Houck, explains, “Rather than focusing on the positive experiences of their school day, hungry children can think about little beyond when they will be able to eat again. Thanks to the good people at GIANT, our new Backpack Program will help ensure that our students arrive at school on Monday ready to learn.”
Jessica Dokachev, Director of Second Harvest Food Bank, states, “Even moderate malnutrition can have long-lasting effects on children’s growth and ability to learn. We are thrilled to be able to expand our Backpack Buddies Program, and are extremely grateful to GIANT Food Stores for making this possible.”