The Power Packs Project recognizes the vital role that nutrition plays in the ability of children to learn in school. According to the Center on Hunger and Poverty “Hungry children have a hard time learning in school, have short attention spans and, suffer more absence due to illness.” The Power Packs Project does not solve the problem with highly processed, highly sugared and expensive pre-packaged foods. Instead, each week a recipe for a low-cost meal and the ingredients to make it is provided in addition to staples like peanut butter and cereal. Empowering the participating families to better use their food dollars and assure their children are well-fed and ready to learn at school is the goal of the program.
The Power Packs Project aims to improve the mental and physical health of the children in the program by helping their parents provide nutritious meals over weekends when the school breakfast and lunch programs are unavailable to them. In accordance with the Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation guidelines, the Power Packs Project enhances “child mental resilience, physical health and health habits” while “strengthening parenting as a way to promote the healthy mental and behavioral development of children.”
If you think of the saying “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” you will understand the unique aspect of this program. The educational component of Power Packs is vital to the goal of “changed behavior” among the participating families.
Partnering with local churches, businesses, and individuals REAL Youth Ministry funds and oversees the Power Packs Project in the Cocalico School District. We have this program in all of the schools within the District.
If you have any questions, would like to learn more about the program, volunteer your time, or support the program with a donation or food drive, please contact Donna Smith, coordinator 717-336-4050.