Upshur Parish House to provide ‘Spring Break Bags’ for Upshur County students

BUCKHANNON –The Upshur Parish House will provide “Spring Break Bags” for Upshur County students to help ease food insecurity over the long school break. During Spring Break (April 2-5), families will be able to pick up an additional food package containing items like shelf-stable milk, cereal, peanut butter, and snack items.

“This is a continuation of the Weekend Feeding Program that we’ve been building throughout the winter,” stated Isaac Casto, Executive Director of the Upshur Cooperative Parish. “We’ve been working with Community in Schools (CIS) Coordinators to help fill the gap since the backpack food program ended at the beginning of this school year.”

It’s estimated that 21% of Upshur County children are food insecure, meaning they don’t have enough to eat and they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, according to Feeding America. For students who rely on breakfast, lunch, and snacks provided by the school system, weekends and long breaks can be especially challenging.

“There’s a balance between sending kids with enough food for the week and what they may be able to carry or transport on a bus,” Casto continued. “Louellen Blake (CIS for Rock Cave & French Creek Elementary) had this great idea to have extra bags available at the Parish House to supplement during the break. It’s taken some time to get established, but we’re happy to provide an additional layer of support for students at what could be a vulnerable time.”

Families interested in receiving a Spring Break Bag should visit the Parish House between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the week of April 2-5. Spring Break Bags will be available in addition to regular monthly food packages, meaning families who have already received a monthly package are still eligible for Spring Break Bags for their children.

The Upshur Parish House, a mission project of the WV United Methodist Church, assists with basic needs for low-income Upshur County families. Since 1992, the Upshur Parish House has offered various services and programs to its neighbors-in-need including a food pantry, rent and utility financial assistance, holiday food boxes, clothing vouchers, thrift store, newborn layettes, hot lunches, backpacks and school supplies, and referrals to other agencies and community organizations.

The Parish House is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. Its thrift store, The Clothes Closet, is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. Approximately 100 families visit the Parish House each week for assistance.

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