Twenty-five students from Bancroft Elementary joined Senator Chris Coons and representatives from JPMorgan Chase, Christina School District, Children and Families First and the Food Bank of Delaware for a community service food packing project this morning to mark a $125,000 donation from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
The Foundation’s grant award will allow us, in partnership with Children and Families First and the Christina School District, to support three new school food pantries at the Eastside Community School, serving Bancroft, Elbert-Palmer and Stubbs Elementary Schools, and will provide hundreds of students with weekend food through the food bank’s Backpack Program.
“JPMorgan Chase has a long and successful history of partnering with the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Keith Schuck, president, Chase Bank N.A. “We are proud to help provide much-needed food and supplies to the children attending Elbert Palmer, Bancroft and Stubbs Elementary Schools.”
Through the new program, at-risk families with students enrolled at the schools will be able to access emergency food and hygiene products by visiting a food pantry within the school. Twenty-five to 30 families will be discretely identified by school officials, and the new pantry will offer a variety of nutritious food products and hygiene items. Families will select food based on their household’s needs each week.
“We’re so thankful for the support of JPMorgan Chase,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Children are the future. Without proper nutrition children cannot grow, learn or play. They cannot develop into the leaders needed for the future. During these difficult economic times it’s going to take all of us working together in partnership to meet the needs of our community.”
“Giving families access to the basic necessities that many of us take for granted, like food and hygiene products, will make a significant difference in their lives,” Senator Chris Coons said. “JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s generous donation will give many local students the energy and nutrition they need to find success in school and to have positive interactions with friends and family. Partnerships like the one between the Christina School District, Children and Families First and the Food Bank of Delaware truly have an impact and make a tremendous difference in our community.”
In addition to school pantries, the funding will also allow us to provide 353 children with backpacks full of weekend food for an entire school year. The Backpack Program provides food to at-risk children for weekends and holidays when school is not in session and federal school meal programs are not available. Backpacks are stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious food including shelf-stable milk and juice, peanut butter and jelly, granola bars, apple sauce, cereal and more.
“Having food pantries located in schools is an innovative idea that supports the Christina School District’s ongoing goal of making schools places where families are welcome and supported,” said Christina School District Superintendent Dr. Marcia V. Lyles. “On behalf of the children and families in our community who will benefit from the food pantries and the Backpack Program supported by this grant, I wish to sincerely thank the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Children & Families First, and the Food Bank of Delaware. This is a wonderful example of how community partnerships can bring about positive changes for our children.”
To learn more about both the School Pantry and Backpack programs, please contact Larry Haas, Food Bank of Delaware Development Director, at (302) 294-0185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.