Wareham Middle School Students Start Weekend Food Program

Credit: Town of Wareham

WAREHAM – A new program is underway in  Wareham that will provide free meals to students in need during the weekends.

Students in the school’s CARE Youth Empowerment Class, now known as “The Builders” Club came up with the STAGE Weekend Backpack Food program after identifying lack of food as an issue for kids in town.

STAGE was named by the students and is an acronym for Students Taking Action for the Good of Everyone.

The program helps students at Wareham Middle School who receive free and reduced breakfast and lunch during school days.

“They chose the issue,” said Janice Barton, the advisor for the program. “They chose the means of addressing it and they are doing it themselves.”

The program will confidentially identify students that are in need and provide them with enough food for two breakfasts, lunches and dinners for Saturdays and Sundays. Each bag of foods costs between $5 and $10.

“We raise funds. Buy Food. All the funds go to the food,” Barton said. The students themselves pack the food and get it to the students every weekend during school.”

The students plan to start the program with 50 students and hope to expand the program to cover every school in the district.

Fifth grade student and treasurer for the program Alex Burdick said getting food to the students over the weekend is important and will prevent those kids from being tired when they wake up.

“This whole group is about helping the community and it’s really fun helping the community,” Burdick said.

Jessica Janak, who is also in the 5th grade, is involved with the program and said the food will help to keep students active and allow them to pay more attention during classes.

“I really wanted to try it because it sounded like fun and most of my friends were in the group,” she said.

Barton said the program has received two grants along with other private donations to get the program running.

“We will be going to other businesses and such in the community helping for more donations,” Barton said.

The program will run through the remainder of this school year and will pick up again when students return to school.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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