At 6:45 a.m. each morning eleven-year-old Connor’s mother, Sarah, gives him a kiss on the cheek as she leaves for her job cleaning houses. Connor quickly gets up and gets dressed for school. He and his grandmother wake his six-year-old sister, Leona, and get her ready. Leona likes to sleep in, but Connor always makes sure she is ready on time. Being the oldest in Connor’s family means helping out a lot, but he doesn’t mind because he knows his mom works very hard. School starts at 8:40 a.m. but Connor always makes sure that he and Leona are there by 8:15 a.m. for the free breakfast program.
Sarah works a lot. The hours are long and the work is hard. With two kids and her mom to support on only one income there never seems to be any extra money. The school lunch assistance program is a God-send for her family. Sarah worries a lot about finances and her children, but Connor and Leona get two meals every day at school, and that makes a huge difference.
Long after bed time, Connor can’t sleep. He hears a soft muffled sound coming from the kitchen. He peeks through his bedroom door and sees his mom sitting at the table with tears in her eyes as she tries to pay the bills. Even though he is scared about what will happen when school ends, he decides not to tell his mom his fears–she has enough to worry about. As he gets back into bed, he looks over at Leona sleeping in her bed, and he tries not to think about what the end of the school year might mean for their family.
In our areas of Upper Bucks and Montgomery Counties, the average percent of students receiving the school-subsidized meal (breakfast and lunch) program is just over 20% (Souderton 18%, Quakertown 27%, Pennridge 17%, North Penn 21%, etc.). This is a surprisingly high number of students for our community, and this number has been on the rise over the last several years. This means that 1 in 5 of your child’s or grandchild’s classmates are at risk for food insecurity. Could you imagine your child or your grandchild facing this fear?
To meet the needs of children like Connor and Leona, six years ago the Keystone Opportunity Center Food Pantry created the Student Summer Aid Program to help local students who are at risk. Through the Keystone Food Pantry, enrolled children receive three weeks of kid-friendly meals and snacks each month throughout the summer to help support the families’ food supplies. Because of the ever-increasing number of students struggling with food insecurity, Keystone is expanding the Student Summer Aid Program to over 450 children this year. Keystone Opportunity Center’s passion is helping those struggling with food, housing, and literacy challenges in our local area. Over the last 40+ years, generous donations from people like you have allowed Keystone to meet the needs as they have arisen in the lives of our neighbors.
Keystone needs your help. To provide aid to this increasing number of local students, we are striving to raise $30,000. This will ensure that families get the support that they need throughout the summer. We know that you will rally support to help these local families in need. Won’t you consider donating to help your neighbors’ children so they have the food they need this summer?
Here is how you can help.
No child should have to face the challenge of not having enough food this summer. Through your donation and Keystone’s Food Pantry Student Summer Aid Program, we can make a huge difference in the lives of local children like Connor and Leona.
For your convenience, we have enclosed a return envelope. Please make checks payable to Keystone Opportunity Center. Online donations can be given through our website at www.keystoneopportunity.org/SummerAid/. As always any additional donations raised over the needs of the Summer Student Aid Program will go to support Keystone’s ongoing food, housing, and literacy services for our local community. With your help, Keystone can continue to provide this aid that our local community so desperately needs.
Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to impacting our neighbors’ lives with help and hope. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful summer from all the staff, volunteers, and families at Keystone Opportunity Center.