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PASD and PA Food Bank Team up to Tackle Hunger

PASD and PA Food Bank Team Up to Tackle Hunger
Posted on 05/07/2021
PASD and PA Food Bank Team Up to Tackle Hunger

When the pandemic started last year, the Port Angeles Food Bank (PA Food Bank), the Port Angeles School District (PASD), and Sodexo came together to make sure food-insecure children who depend on school programs would still have access to nourishing meals. With help from the PA Food Bank, the District provides hundreds of bags of easy-to-prepare food every Thursday or Friday afternoon to enjoy throughout the weekend. In April, PASD sent home more than 600-weekend food bags, and 75 children picked up Spring Break bags on Tuesday, April 6.  From September 1 through March 31 PASD has served 258,755 meals or an average of 1220 meals per day. 

Weekend Food Bags include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack items for children to last through the weekend. While children are on break, the PA Food Bank also provides food for Break Bags for children in our region. This week’s Spring Break bags contained ground beef, eggs, and fresh produce, funded in part by the Albert Haller Foundation. The Spring Break bags also had $50 Safeway gift cards from the Port Angeles Food Bank. The Safeway grocery gift cards were made possible through community donations during NW Harvest’s “Harvest for Hunger” Food Drive this past fall. Funds raised from this event allowed NW Harvest to provide gift cards to food banks throughout Washington. The Port Angeles Food Bank provided $35,000 in $50 Safeway grocery gift cards to the Port Angeles School District. Over 675 children took home Friday Food Bags and Spring Break Meal Kits containing all these items!

“These cards can make a real difference to individuals and families who are trying to make ends meet. Being able to provide a true shopping experience that allows choice and dignity is significant, especially after a year of drive-thru emergency boxes,” says PAFB Executive Director Emily Dexter. “The ability to share these gift cards is a direct result of the generosity shown by members of our community. It’s a huge benefit, especially during the pandemic when food insecurity is spreading into households for the first time,” says Dexter.

 “We know that these aren’t normal times, and we are grateful we can serve all in need.” Said Kathy Crowley, PASD’s Food Service Director. “These meal bags are so important, and for some kids, it’s the only reliable meal that they will receive. Weekend and break bags provide enough nutritious and delicious food for children whose families struggle and need assistance.”

Food security plays a big part in a child’s ability to learn. For many of the District’s students, the school day is the only time they can expect to receive a balanced breakfast and lunch. Weekends and breaks can cause stress on families who are already struggling. “Partnering with the PA Food Bank helps us provide critical nutrition to children in a manner that best meets their needs.” Shared Superintendent Martin Brewer. “With nearly 54% of our students on the free and reduced lunch program, our children need food supplement programs like those provided by the PA Food Bank to stay nourished and healthy.”

PASD invites families with children in our area who would benefit from these meal bags to sign up. Meal bags are FREE to all ages 0-18. Children do not need to be registered with the District to qualify. For more information or to order meals, please visit: tinyurl.com/PASDMealForm

Everyone is welcome to visit the Port Angeles Food Bank for supplemental food Wednesday and Friday 11:00am – 2:30pm and Saturday 10:00am – 1:00pm.  The PA Food Bank encourages you to start there, see what they have available, and then go to the stores. They have plenty of food for you and to nourish our community. If you would like to help, please consider donating to the Port Angeles Food Bank.

Carmen Geyer
Communications and Community Relations Coordinator
Port Angeles School District (www.portangelesschools.org)
905 W 9th St. Port Angeles, WA 98363
Office: 360-565-3703 | Fax: 360-457-0795
cgeyer@portangelesschools.org