The gift of giving

By on December 18, 2013

Donna Smith, who attends St Paul’s Lutheran Church, is the program coordinator for the Power Packs Project at Denver Elementary.

Donna Smith, who attends St Paul’s Lutheran Church, is the program coordinator for the Power Packs Project at Denver Elementary.

R.E.A.L. Youth Ministries partners with Power Packs

Power Packs Project, with the help of R.E.A.L. Youth Ministries, launched a pilot program to help students and their families in need at Denver Elementary.

Power Packs, which also teams up with the Central Pa. Food Bank, is a grassroots organization that began in Lancaster County in 2005. It provides healthy food options and recipes at no cost to low-income families. It now serves over 20 schools in four school districts with over 250 volunteers serving over 600 families. The goal of Power Packs is to improve the health of children by helping their parents provide nutritious meals over weekends when school meals are unavailable to them. Recipes are also supplied to the families so they can best utilize the ingredients that are given to them.

R.E.A.L. Youth Ministry is based in Denver and works with Cocalico area churches, schools, community leaders, parents and businesses and is dedicated to helping the community’s youth population. They recently partnered with the Power Packs Project in Lancaster as their Nonprofit Affiliate Partner. Donna Smith, who attends St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, serves as the program coordinator. R.E.A.L. Youth and Power Packs partnered with Denver Elementary School to find the families in need. Trinity United Methodist Church provides the storage pantry and distribution site for the program.

R.E.A.L. Youth worked with Central Pa. Food Bank to purchase food at a very discounted rate. The food bank also gave a one-time $2,600 matching grant award for Power Packs.

Food donations also come from individuals, schools, churches and businesses to help fill the pantry. The pilot program gives out a bag of groceries to 17 or 18 families every Thursday at Denver Elementary. If the pantry continues to grow, Power Packs will be able to expand to Reamstown and Adamstown in the future.

Financial donations can be given to R.E.A.L. Youth Ministry PO Box 22, Denver 17517, earmarked “Power Packs Project.” For more information about the Power Packs Project, visit Volunteers are also needed. For more information, call 336-4050.

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