By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
We all know this area has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years, but there is no doubt that we live in a community of great potential.
What some of you might not be aware of is the people working every day to make this community even better.
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to witness one of the great things going in this community. The Steven Hunter Hope Fund launched its Power Pack Program to Northwest Elementary.
You could hear the excitement in Mark Hunter’s voice minutes before the program got started.
The purpose of the Power Pack Club is to provide food for school-aged children that might not have enough to eat over the weekend.
It’s sad to realize that even one child is forced to go without food for any reason, regardless of the circumstance.
On Friday, 55 kids received a weekend’s worth of food from this program. These kids will receive a weekend’s worth of food every Friday through the school year.
When the time came to give out the food Mark and Virgie Hunter watched with tears in their eyes as the children joyfully received the food.
What was started that day will change the lives of some needy students.
According to its website, the Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati ended the 2010 fiscal year distributing 84,081 Power Packs to 55 sites. Each week, 2,320 children received Power Packs. The Freestore Foodbank had a goal to provide 130,000 Power packs to 3,500 children in 2011.
The Freestore Foodbank provides the food for the Power Pack Program at a reduced cost.
Steven’s Power Pack had already been established in the Portsmouth and New Boston school districts.
“Through this program we are helping 216 kids a week; we have very blessed through this process. It’s amazing how God has a plan and if you listen to him and follow it, things happen. We feel very blessed to be here with the Mini Mohawks. I feel like our family has gotten a little bigger today,” Mark Hunter said.
According to www.stevenshopefund.org, “our review of statistics from the Ohio Department of Education reveal that students of the Portsmouth City School District, New Boston Local Schools and Northwest Local Schools are among the most vulnerable in Scioto County to suffer from the problems associated with hunger in the home. The sad reality is that many of these children are going without proper nutrition or, in some cases, with no food at all over the weekend, their only meals being provided at breakfast or lunch through the school system.”
This is one of a countless number of examples of the good things going on in this community. These efforts and the efforts of other organizations will make this community great again.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.