Max McCullough ’21
There is a terrifying epidemic that is raging throughout our community. And no, it’s not COVID. Instead, it’s the much less publicized epidemic of food insecurity.
Take the local public school district for instance. In it, more than 50% of students qualify for the “Free or Reduced Lunch” program. If you are unfamiliar with this program, it makes sure that children who are unable to afford the simple $2.35 lunch the school provides are given lunch. You read that correctly. One out of every two children in the local public school cannot afford $2.35 for lunch. Now, imagine those kids when they’re forced to study at home, without the benefit of school assistance. That situation is precisely why the Rocket Totes program was created.
This fantastic local organization provides food to those in need to take home. It ensures that kids and families don’t have to worry about where their food is going to come from. This program already serves more than eighty families. However, there are more than eighty families in the district who could use this program. Nonetheless, due to an increase in the demand for the program, as well as an increase in grocery prices, Rocket Totes has been unable to help as many people as have demonstrated legitimate need. This is why Community Engagement began its Fundraiser for Rocket Totes. They saw the importance of this program and knew that it was important to support it and the local community.
Since beginning the fundraiser, the Mercersburg community has raised a substantial sum, ensuring that fewer children will go to bed with empty stomachs and fewer parents will have to fret over how they’re going to provide. However, there is still an extremely long way to go. Every donation, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is, will go a long way toward alleviating the epidemic that is food insecurity. Every single dollar raised will make a difference.
“People should choose to support this program because it has a real, felt impact on the lives of kids who live in our community. I don’t want food to be something kids have to worry about when there is already plenty to worry about.” says Tricia Crocker, Director of Community Engagement.
Mercersburg has until May 13 to collect funds for the Rocket Totes program. Donations can be made on the Veracross portal. This cause is important not just to Rocket Totes but to the children who could dream bigger, imagine better, and focus more on being happy instead of on where their next meal is going to come from.