Snack Pak 4 Kids is a program dedicated to keeping hungry kids fed over the weekend.The program is now expanding to include Pampa Independent School District.
It's no secret times are still tough for Panhandle families, pinching their pennies to make ends meet. It's that fact, that's made students in Pampa more school dependent.
"A term I learned recently is school dependent. So when you look at it that way, that puts the responsibility back on the school. There are resources that their parents are not able to provide," said Amanda Young, Wilson Elementary School Counselor.
That's where the idea of starting up a Snack Pak 4 Kids program at Pampa ISD came in. With more than half of its student population on free or reduced lunches.
"In the past, for many years a couple of churches in our town have been providing this service to our students. With the increase cost of food and more needy students we just realized there's a need for more involvement," said Suzanne Pingel, Pampa ISD Social Worker.
"It's a need, honestly it's a little embarrassing because I didn't realize how badly it is needed in Pampa. Unless you're experiencing it you don't really realize that need," said Shane Stokes, Board Member.
December 14th will be the first Friday that 175 bags will be given discreetly to students to take home packed full of juices and healthy snacks to eat over the weekend. The district is hoping to increase the number of backpacks, volunteers, and donations because they say, when a student goes hungry and has that food insecurity, we're holding them back from reaching their full potential.
"They come to class and they're very tired, sleepy, can't come around, not alert at all. They can not think straight, and they sometimes have anger frustration that comes from just not feeling right. And they also have security issues," said Kayla Parnell, Former Pampa ISD Teacher.
Pampa residents will be seeing donation boxes for peanut butter and pop tarts starting soon.
If you would like to make a donation or volunteer click here. You must list the school district you'd like to donate to or volunteer at.