Local School Hunger Program Needs Volunteers | WTAJ

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) – A local school hunger relief program is looking for volunteers to pack backpacks with food items. The Mountain Lion Backpack program ensures that children (Kindergarten to Grade 5) in the Altoona Area School District have meals and snacks to eat throughout the weekend.

“The program started in 2011, so 2021 was our tenth year,” says Smith.

Amber says the program packs bags of food every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. “The more volunteers we have to help, the faster we can get the bags ready,” says Smith.

Program director Amber Smith says many people are surprised to learn that child hunger is a problem in our community. “One in four children in our region doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. They go to school every day and can count on the breakfast and lunch programs, but after that what do they do on Saturday and Sunday? “

If you’re interested in volunteering with the Mountain Lion Backpack Program, the first packing event is Thursday, January 13 starting at 5 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at 2900 Beale Ave in Altoona. For more information about the program, visit their website or call Amber at (814) 946-3651.

If you cannot volunteer, the program is always looking for food or monetary donations. “The canned pasta is really good. macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, juice boxes or juice sachet. Pudding, fruit cups, oatmeal, cracker packets, little cans of raisins, cans of soup, or beans for that protein, ”says Smith.

You can find a full list of items on the Mountain Lion Backpack program wishlist by visiting their website.

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