Power Packs Welcome Kids Back to School

Mediaon September 6th, 2017Comments Off on Power Packs Welcome Kids Back to School

Back to School With a Full Belly

On the outskirts of downtown Cincinnati, in the West End area stands an eye-catching, modern building. It is Hays-Porter Elementary, the neighborhood school that is known for its advanced High Technology Program and innovative approach to education. The school makes an iPad or laptop available to every student and teaches state-of-the-art technology and robotics.  In spite of its advanced curriculum, Hays-Porter sits in a very poor neighborhood and 99% of its students are on the free lunch program.

Back to School With a Full BellyHays-Porter is part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program called Community Eligibility Provision whereby a healthy lunch and breakfast are available free of charge to all students who attend the school. Hays-Porter is also one of the many schools in town to which the Freestore Foodbank delivers Kids Cafe, a program that provides free, nutritious meals to children at the end of the school day so that they do not go hungry in the evenings.

Hays-Porter has a robust after-school program with several exciting enrichment programs such as hip-hop, art, ballet and African dance. The after-school program also provides other essential services such as mentoring, tutoring, building parent engagement and working to boost Back to School With a Full Bellystudent test scores. Victoria Matchett is the After-School Coordinator at Hays-Porter Elementary. She works closely with the Freestore Foodbank in administering the Kids Cafe Program at the school. The program guarantees children a balanced meal at the end of the school day. There is always protein (be it chicken, turkey or a hamburger), vegetables, fruit and bread. The Freestore Foodbank also supplies milk. “We eat like a family. We sit around a table, there is lots of laughter and conversation and the food is good,” Victoria observes. “The children look forward to it because for most of them this is the only meal they get before they go to bed.”

Back to School With a Full BellyFreestore Foodbank also distributes Power Packs at Hays-Porter. Power Packs are packages of food that are sent home with kids so they have something to eat over the weekend. Richara Richardson is the Resource Coordinator at Hays-Porter. She works closely with the Freestore Foodbank on the delivery and distribution of Power Packs. Hays Porter has a formal referral process to identify kids who would qualify to receive a Power Pack. It is an extremely popular program. “The students love it. It is one of those things that they look forward to every week,” says Richara.

The Freestore Foodbank values its partnership with Hays-Porter Elementary and we enjoy working with them to serve their students and the community. To learn more about the Freestore Foodbank’s Power Pack and Kids Cafe programs click here.