BackPack program started to feed Youngstown students - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

BackPack program started to feed Youngstown students

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -
The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, along with Second Harvest Food Bank and Ronald McDonald House Charities have started the first BackPack program in the Youngstown City Schools. 

The three organizations launched the program at McGuffey Elementary School on Tuesday. 

Each week, Second Harvest Food Bank will deliver food to 200 fourth grade students that can be easily made on the weekends. 

"Our students often rely on the school cafeteria to get their main meals each day," said Dr. Connie Hathorn, Superintendent of Youngstown City Schools, "We now know they will have access to nutritious food on the weekends thanks to the generous support of United Way, Second Harvest, and Ronald McDonald Charities." 

The program, that will run during the 2014-2015 school year, will send items such as microwave meals, pretzels, animal crackers, cereal, peanut butter and milk home with students.  

Campbell, Struthers, and Warren School districts, already administer the BackPack Program to their students. 

The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley wanted to bring the program to Youngstown. 

"We know there is a huge need in the inner city, and we want to make an impact in the lives of these students," said Bob Hannon, President United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, "The BackPack program will help make sure these kids don't go hungry. In turn, it will help the students stay focused when they return to the classroom each week."

The total cost of the BackPack program at McGuffey Elementary will be $36,000 a year.  If successful, the organizations hope to expand it to other schools in the district.
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