Students attending the Ross Medical Education Center Morgantown, West Virginia campus were motivated by one sentence this summer: “Our goal is to ensure that no school child spends a weekend hungry.” This is the mission of the Backpack Feeding Program organized by Scott’s Run Settlement House. In an effort to support the mission, staff and students collected individually wrapped food items for inclusion in Scott’s Run Settlement House’s after school distribution program. The program provides healthy snacks to children via backpacks purchased by or donated to the organization.
To respond to the increasing needs of those around them that have been impacted by economic and social decline, Scott’s Run Settlement House has grown over the years to offer more of the things that the community needs. Scott’s Run Settlement House provides programs and services for individuals and families with the most basic of needs, as well as education, information, and recreation. “Scott’s Run has been the recipient of our collections from our annual Ross food drives,” said Dorie Alger, Campus Director. “It seemed like a natural fit for our campus when we started looking at additional community events.”
In addition to the collection of food, instructors are planning field trips for their classes during the school year. “Backpacks are stuffed every Wednesday afternoon,” said Rebecca Keener, Administrative Instructor for the Medical Assistant program in Morgantown. “We are scheduled to take a trip to the center in the fall and participate. In addition to offering support, we feel it is important for students to know other places to go to find help if they need it.”
The backpack feeding program has grown tremendously over the last six years. What started in 2011 at Mylan Park Elementary with 212 children has grown to 839 children at nine area schools: Brookhaven, Cheat Lake, Mason-Dixon, Mountainview, Mylan Park, North, and Suncrest Elementary Schools, South Middle School, and University High School. It is a very worthwhile program that Ross is excited to continue to pour into and support to ensure that every local child has enough to eat.