PWSK provides food for weekends to needy children in local schools
The Pinecrest Weekend Snackpacks for Kids (PWSK) charity began as a church ministry in Corinth and Alcorn County, Mississippi, to provide nutritious ready-to-eat snack foods to community children identified by their classroom teachers as "in need." Since its initiation in March 2011, we have filled more than 4,000 snackpacks at a cost of $3.50 per bag. Each year, classroom teachers identify children they perceive to be "most in need" of food supplies on days when school is not in session. The area's local schools serve approximately 2,500 children in grades PreK-4. The average poverty level, based on US Food Service Free Meal eligibility status, is generally 65% of the total enrollment.
The continually rising local unemployment rate contributes to the growing number of families needing help to meet their children's nutritional needs. We understand the anguish that families face when they cannot find employment to earn enough money to provide for their children. We believe that we can offer hope to them as we help in this small way. In March 2011,we started providing snackpacks for 60 children, and since then that number has continually risen. We began the 2012-2013 school year by filling 211 snackpacks for our children identified as "most in need," increasing the PWSK charity commitment to$700/week. Local grocers sell us fruits at their cost and members of the community offer support through monetary contributions and volunteer efforts to fill and distribute snackpacks.
Each week, we fill the snackpacks with 15 items: fruits, juices, water, breakfast and lunch foods, and healthy snacks, all ready-to-eat or easily prepared by a child. Approximately 20 adults gather each Friday to fill the snackpacks. Then two men travel to the six elementary schools in Corinth and Alcorn County to deliver them. At the end of the school day, a member of the school staff distributes the snackpacks to the eligible children.
The Pinecrest Weekend Snackpacks for Kids charity is designed to help meet the nutritional needs of the children most in need of assistance. There are many needy children in Corinth and Alcorn County, Mississippi. With an average of 1500 young children participating in the subsidized nutrition program at school, we know that some of these children go home to empty cupboards in their kitchens. Our charity is helping address that need by serving children most in need (200+) and their parents (400+), thereby assisting 600+ community families in need of help. We believe that of all the hungry children in the world, we should not overlook those in our own community.