One Community Now Pack-A-Sack Food 4 Kids is a kid-friendly school-based program designed to help address the problem of chronic hunger among school age children in Pasco County. We focus on recruiting local churches, businesses and organizations to adopt their local school and provide food for teacher-identified chronically hungry children over the weekend and extended breaks.
In the 2018-2019 school year, over 39,000 children were eligible for free and reduced meals in Pasco County Schools. These children receive breakfast and lunch every day they go to school. It is estimated that 15-20% of these children or nearly 7,000 are chronically hungry or food insecure and have little to no food to eat when they are not in school.
One Community Now Pack-A-Sack Food 4 Kids is designed for children who are not able to get sufficient food at home due to family struggles, neglect or other circumstances that prevent them from having regular access to food. Each sack contains 10-12 different food items designed to provide nutrition and calories for chronically hungry school children on weekends. Each sack of food costs approximately $4 -$5 and includes kid-friendly foods that require no preparation. Kids can just “open and eat”.
Examples of food items:
- Peanut Butter
- Sleeve of crackers
- Beans and franks (pop-top can)
- Beef Jerky (1 ounce)
- Cereal (1 ounce bowl or box)
- Fruit cups
- Raisins (snack-size boxes)
- Pudding cups
- Juice boxes
- Cereal bars or granola bars
- Milk (aseptic pack boxes that do not require refrigeration)
Help Fight Hunger
Children eligible for free & reduced meals in Pasco County Schools in 2019
Children are fed each week through One Community Now Pack-A-Sack Program
Schools Participate in the One Community Now Pack-A-Sack Program
A child will not necessarily tell you that he doesn’t have enough food at home, but observation of patterns and/or behavior will set them apart. For example: A chronically hungry child will be anxious for a meal to be served; they may rush the cafeteria line or show up early for breakfast; they’ll eat any food placed before them; they may linger around for seconds or even ask for more.
Physical Appearance of a Food Insecure Child
- Puffy and swollen skin can be due to a protein deficiency
- A very thin child whose bones are starting to protrude may have a lack of protein and calories
- Redness around the lips and/or cracked lips
- Dry and itchy eyes can be a sign of a vitamin A deficiency
- Overweight – some obesity is caused from poor nutrition
School Performance/Behavior of a Food Insecure Child
- Excessive absences due to sickness or unexcused
- Hyperactive, aggressive, irritable, anxious, withdrawn, distressed, passive/aggressive
- Repetition of a grade
- Difficulty in forming friendships
- Sickness–sore throat, common cold, stomach ache, ear infection, fatigue
- Short attention span, inability to concentrate
Difficulty with several of these symptoms can seriously impact a child’s ability to learn and master educational material– handicapping them down the road.
*Grant funding is available to help with start-up costs and expanding existing programs. For more information please contact us.
Interested in making a donation? Your tax-deductible financial donation is appreciated. You can pay by check or click on the donate button at the top of the page to make a donation by debit or credit card. Checks should be made out to One Community Now and mailed to:
One Community Now
PO Box 476
Elfers, FL 34680.