Last updated: July 25. 2013 11:14AM - 222 Views

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Wayne Allen

Common Staff Writer

The Steven Hunter Hope Fund kicked off its Steven’s Power Pack Club program at Valley Elementary School on Friday. The program will provide a weekend’s worth of food for 30 students.

The Hunter Hope Fund also has similar programs at New Boston, Northwest and Portsmouth City Schools. Steven’s Power Pack Program provides food for 276 students each week.

With tears in his eyes, Hope Fund administrator Mark Hunter watched Friday as the students were given their Power Packs.

“Today is a very good day,” Hunter said. “We are kicking off another school for Stevens Power Pack Program.”

Hunter said it’s been with the blessings of God that he and his wife, Virgie has been able to expand this program into another school.

“He (God) has blessed us so much and we know now, more than ever this is what he (God) wants us to do,” Hunter said.

He said the purpose of the program is to provide needy students a weekends worth of food to take home with them every Friday after school.

“The sad reality is that many of these children are going without proper nutrition or, in some cases, with no food at all over the weekend, their only meals being provided at breakfast or lunch through the school system,” the Fund reported on its website, www.stevenshopefund.org.

Jeff Rase, Valley Guidance Counselor said the students and the teachers are excited about this program coming to their school.

“This gives the students the opportunity to have some food at home. Otherwise they might not have anything until Monday,” Rase said. “Nutrition is a high priority for us. Nutrition is directly related to success. If kids are healthy, their learning improves, their behavior improves so, and this is a win-win for us.”

Hunter said students become eligible based on the free and reduced lunch program and upon recommendation of the children’s teachers.

“This program would not work if it were not for the hard work of each of the schools. We have the help and support of the free store food bank. We also could not do this without the support of the community. The teachers and administrators at each of the schools, they are so happy we are bringing this program to their school, because they know the end result is that the kids will have enough to eat over the weekend,” Hunter said.

Hunter said Steven’s Power Pack Club will start at West Elementary next week.

For more information about Steven’s Power pack Club or the Steven Hunter Hope Fund visits www.stevenshopefund.org.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.

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