Pictured from left are Upshur County Board of Education member Greenbrier Almond, guidance counselor Catherine McCauley, guidance counselor Teresa Knight, child nutrition director Cindy Nesselroade, guidance counselor Katie Yeager, B-UHS principal Eddie Vincent, B-UHS TIS Danielle Rexroad and schools superintent Dr. Sara Stankus.

B-UHS awarded $20K grant to bolster backpack program

TENNERTON – Through a collaborative effort with the Upshur County Child Nutrition Program, Buckhannon-Upshur High School’s guidance counseling department has been awarded money to help feed more kids.

School officials announced Wednesday morning that a $20,000-plus Non-Traditional Feeding Program grant will be utilized to expand its weekend wellness pack.

This past year, B-UHS guidance counselors kicked off the program, through which roughly 30 backpacks are sent home with students in need each weekend.

Previous grant funding and local civic group support provided a foundation for the first phase of this program.

Along with the wellness packs, the grant funding will assist in the creation of a pantry for food storage.

Katie Yeager, a B-UHS counselor, said the awarded funds will help provide shelving for the pantry, additional food, funding for a speaker and promotion for the weekend wellness program.

The elementary schools and Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School were the first schools to offer these types of programs, but Yeager said there was a need for high school students, too.

“We forget about our big kids, but they are still kids,” she said, “and they need help too sometimes.”

The grant application indicates the packs will be marketed with “wellness” products to reduce the stigma associated with traditional backpack programs.

The weekend wellness pack will include two drinks, two lunches, two dinner and breakfast-type items, a snack and fruit.

During holiday breaks, Yeager advised more food items will be included in the pack.

While the grant will certainly assist with the expansion of the program, Yeager advised, “To keep this going, it will take more money.”

Those interested in donating to the wellness program can contact B-UHS at 304-472-3720.

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