Food Insecurity is defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food. Food insecurity affects 1 in 6, or as many as 12.5 million children, in the US alone. Lack of food and nutrition in the life of a child affects their ability to learn and grow and can leave lasting effects on their lives. In our state of Pennsylvania, approximately 79,620 children are affected by food insecurity.
Fortunately for the children of Derry Township and surrounding areas, there is Cocoa Packs. Cocoa Packs is a nonprofit organization formed in 2015, operating out of Hershey Middle School. Their goal is to provide food security to children at home. Many children qualify for subsidized meals while they are at school but the founders of Cocoa Packs want to ensure that those children also have enough to eat during the other 185 days of the year. Their efforts help fill the food gaps for children during the weekends, holidays, and summer vacation. Since its formation, the organization has grown immensely, with the help of over 1,000 volunteers they serve over 500 children every week. They also operated the Clothing Closet which helps provide clothes and shoes for school children grades K-12. Over 300 children have benefited from the Clothing Closet. Since their formation in 2015, there have been over 16,000 pantry visits and cocoa packs delivered.
If it weren’t for the communities we live in, Team Timmons would not be where we are today. Volunteering some of our time to organizations like Cocoa Packs is how to show our gratitude. If you have time to give, this is definitely a worthwhile organization and cause to give it to. It’s a great feeling to be an active member of the community instead of just occupying it.