The PAW Packs program is a nonprofit community outreach whose purpose is to provide meals to children in the Big Spring School District who otherwise might not have enough to eat on weekends and during some holiday vacations. The program began in January 2016 at Newville Elementary School where over 40% of the children received free and/or reduced price lunches. At the start of the 2016-17 school year, it expanded to all the elementary schools, and the following year once more into the middle school. Children ages two through high school age receive meals when a family signs up.
Having the children participate in the program is a voluntary choice made by the parents. Once a registration form is completed, participants are able to sign up for food each week on the PAW Packs website. They are responsible for picking up the food at the designated place and time. Food offerings include milk, cereal, soups, pasta, fresh and canned vegetables and fruits, frozen meats, and snacks.
Because of continued support, PAW Packs now also has a summer program. Parents pick up a weekly box of food that includes breakfast and lunch items for their children. Also included are fresh vegetables from Newville’s Community Garden.
We have also introduced a sponsorship program wherein an individual, business, organization, or church can sponsor a child for an entire year. The cost is $30 per month / $360 per year. This provides two meals per day each weekend and breakfast and lunch meals during the summer.