BACKPACK PALS

All group activities are currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.

About the partnership…

Backpack Pals is a partnership of several area churches through which we feed hungry children from Clymore Elementary – which now includes more children since Verona Elementary has closed. Every Friday during the school year, 70 to 100 children may be taking home a backpack full of food for the weekend! All of the food is kid-friendly and individually wrapped, stuff that kids can open and prepare for themselves. Want to help us feed children?
 
 

Dear Backpack Pals Supporters and Volunteers…

We are excited about the opportunity to provide supplemental food to students. 
 
Over the summer, we received a generous offering of food, money and advice from our friends who ran the Backpack Pals program at Verona Elementary. We are very thankful for all donations that we receive. Food donations can be dropped off at Pleasant Valley Church, coordinated through your congregation, or picked up by a BPP volunteer. Please contact Mindy Garber to arrange for pickup. Please be aware that we cannot distribute any food that is past the best by or expiration date, even if the food may still be safe to consume.

 We pack the following foods:

Peanut Butter
Canned Soup
Ramon Noodles
Single Serve Mac & Cheese
Canned Pasta / Ravioli
Canned Tuna
Granola Bars
Cereal Bars
Fruit Cups
Applesauce Cups
Pudding Cups
Single Serve Cereal
Single Serve Oatmeal
Pop Tarts
Cheese Crackers
Juice Boxes
We pack every Wednesday at 5:30 pm in the Backpack Pals room on the lower level of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren. Everyone is invited to join us for any or all packing nights. Enter on the lower level through the glass vestibule. There are many opportunities to volunteer.
 
Thank you again for all of the support that you show Backpack Pals.
Respectfully,
Mindy Garber
540-820-1922
 

BACKPACK PALS LIST OF VOLUNTEER OPTIONS FOR 2020-21

There are many ways you can help out the Backpack Pals program. Some volunteer opportunities are listed below.
 
Packing Coordinator: The packing coordinator arrives thirty minutes to one hour early on packing nights and sets up the pack. This includes selecting the foods from the shelves that will go in the pack. Each selected food item is counted out for the number of students receiving a bag for the week. Although a packing coordinator is needed every week, several people can share this job by committing to one week a month, or every other week, etc. This person needs to be able to lift some heavy items onto the packing table.
 
Packers: Packers help on Wednesday nights to fill the bags before they are delivered to the school. Packing happens at 5:30 pm in the Backpack Pals room at Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren. Enter through the glass doors at the lower level, near the playground. This job does not have a regular weekly commitment. If it suits in your schedule, friendly faces are always welcome. This can be a nice time of fellowship, and many hands make light work. This job does not require any heavy lifting or special skills. It’s a good job for children and teens.
Recycling Coordinator: This person picks up the recycling from the packing room after the packing has occurred (Wednesday nights) and before the next delivery is made (Monday mornings), and delivers it to a local county trash facility (New Hope, Berry Farm, or Mt. Sidney). This job can also be shared. This program generates a large amount of cardboard, and we do not have cardboard recycling facilities at the church. It’s helpful if this person can lift bulky objects and transport the cardboard in an SUV or truck.
 
Food Shopper: Shoppers purchase food for the program at local stores and deliver their purchases to the Backpack Pals room. They are reimbursed for the purchases by sending their receipts to our treasurer, Delphos Howard, at Summit Church of the Brethren. The most common place to shop is Sharp Shopper, but other purchases can be made at Dollar General, Walmart, Costco, etc. It is very helpful when the number of items of one kind are equal to or greater than the current number of children we are packing for. This job does not have to have a regular weekly commitment. It is important to have transportation to visit the stores to do this job. Reimbursements are written within a few weeks of when they are received.
 
Bin pickup: This person picks up the blue bins from Clymore Elementary each Monday and delivers them to the packing room at Pleasant Valley before packing on Wednesday afternoon. There is some lifting (20 lbs or so) and transportation is important for this job.
 
Social Media and Newsletter Specialist: This person keeps in touch with partner congregations through newsletters and/or social media. Newsletters could be written and shared electronically with church secretaries and pastors for distribution to the congregations. This job requires understanding of computer word processing, email and social media.
 
Thank you Note Writer: This person writes thank you notes to the many people who donate food and money to the program. Thank you notes and postage are provided or reimbursed. This task can be done at home at any time. It would be helpful to have one person in charge of this job so that it is clear who to send the list of donations and addresses to.
 

If interested call Mindy Garber, 540-820-1922

THANK YOU!