WILLIAMSPORT -- A new backpack program is providing students with food over the weekend when they're not in school. Employees tell Newswatch 16 the program in the Williamsport Area School District is just as important to the students receiving the backpacks as it is for those filling them.
11th-grade student Gregory Stewart knows his way around the food pantry inside Williamsport Area High School. He also knows which foods go inside backpacks piled up inside the pantry. That's probably because he says he's filled these backpacks with food several times.
The backpacks are filled by students for students who might not otherwise have a full meal over the weekend.
"A student who needs a backpack can come down and can get a backpack from this room right here and it will have a breakfast for Saturday, a breakfast for Sunday," said Roger Freed.
It's all part of the backpack program. Williamsport Area School District has partnered with the Central PA Foodbank to make sure students in need have something to eat on weekends and over holiday breaks.
It's also a chance for Kathleen Taylor to teach these students skills they can take with them after graduation.
"So the inventory, the stocking shelves, checking off the names when the kids come to pick the backpacks up, gives them a lot of work skills as they enter the job force which is our goal,” said Kathleen Taylor.
"It feels good and awesome," said Stewart.
The school's goal is to help feed 100 students by the end of the year.