Buddy Bags stave off student hunger
Mount Carmel Area School District is taking steps to ensure no student goes hungry on the weekends. The Tornado Buddy Bag Program began almost four years ago in February 2017. The program’s mission was an urgent one: There were needy students in the Mount Carmel Area School District who didn’t have enough to eat on weekends. The district wanted to remedy that. These students already had access to free lunches and free breakfasts Monday through Friday during the school year, but they often went hungry between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. The district came up with the solution that is now being followed in a growing number of communities – provide them, each Friday afternoon, with bags of nutritious food they can enjoy over the weekend, food items that require little or no preparation before eating. The program, which started small with 10 students served, has expanded over the years, including operating throughout the pandemic, and is reliant on generous donations from local businesses and the public.