Charters schools throughout Pittsburgh joined forces to raise awareness for childhood hunger and funds for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. This is the second year the group has come together to raise funds to give back to the community.
“The Great Charter Give Back” initiative provided charter school students throughout Pittsburgh the opportunity to learn, grow and more fully develop their awareness of social justice issues and provided them with an opportunity to give back to those in need. The students, along with their teachers, worked within their school communities to raise funds that will positively impact a local organization and local families in need. Many of these charter schools actively participate in backpack feeding programs, which provide food to students for weekend days, when school breakfasts and lunches are not options. With the help of community volunteers and school families, students in food insecure situations have the nutrition that they need during school breaks and over weekend days.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1980 that distributes more than 23 million meals annually throughout a network that exceeds 400 member agencies across 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Their mission is to feed people in need and mobilize the community to eliminate hunger.
The long term effects of food insecurity and hunger in children can be far-reaching. Students impacted by hunger are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school, twice as likely to require special education and three times more likely to be suspended from school. Dr. Tina Chekan, Superintendent/CEO of Propel Schools, is pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort, “Food insecurity is a fact of life for so many Pittsburgh-area students and families. We were proud to work together — creatively, intentionally and thoughtfully – to raise funds for this vital organization.” Lisa Scales, President and CEO of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, applauds the efforts of the charter school group. “It is wonderful to see students and schools give of their time, talent and treasure to truly impact the lives of others.” At the check presentation, 8th grade student Chris Cottrell along with classmates from Propel Montour, brought 8 large boxes of food for donation to the check presentation, Cottrell spoke of the reasons that he and his classmates found this project important, “We had events to raise money, but we wanted to take it a step further and bring food to the food bank. We were happy and excited to work on a project that helps people who really need help.”
The funds were raised by the following charter schools, who worked together closely on this initiative:
City Charter High School
Environmental Charter School
Manchester Academic Charter School
Spectrum Charter School
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School
A check in the amount of $12,567 was presented to Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank President and CEO Lisa Scales on May 19, 2016. Student and faculty representatives from all participating charter schools were present for this celebration of giving, learning and being active change-makers in their community.