community schools

Community Schools

PHCS Back-2-School

Backpacks & Supplies

back to school

Last summer, the Panther Paws Project was able to supply 109 students with a backpack full of school supplies and community resources. We would like to be able to match or exceed that again this year. So, if you would like to request a backpack full of school supplies for your child, Read on!

bagpack

PHCS Backpack Program 

The PHCS Backpack Program strives to ensure that all students in need within our district are fed by providing a food drop each month throughout the school year. These drops typically coincide with a long weekend or a scheduled break. All food drops are delivered by volunteers, typically school staff, to the child's home. The Backpack Program has a rolling application so you may sign up at any time. You can refer to the USDA income guidelines to see if you qualify for this program. 

History and Philosophy of the PHCS Backpack Program

Our mission began in 2012 as a way to provide homeless students and their families with healthy meals and snacks during emergencies, as well as on long weekends and vacations. Since 2013, the PHCS Panther Paws Project Backpack Program mission continues to include a commitment to help provide nutritious meals and snacks for students and their families at home and at school, to supplement food assistance provided by the free/reduced breakfast and lunch program at the school.

We strive to provide emergency food for families in need, as well as for McKinney-Vento doubled up temporarily housed families and unaccompanied McKinney-Vento youth who are not living at home. The Covid-19 economic downturn has made our mission even more important. Since the start of the pandemic, many families have suffered ever more severe economic hardships. This has heightened the importance of our program to be able to support the families and students in our community. The pandemic is declining in numbers and economic impact, but very few have ended their involvement, and request for food to supplement meals have increased by 10%.

Donated funds are used to provide needed food for long weekends, vacations, major holidays and during any emergencies throughout the school year, as well as offering an end of school year summer vacation package. Vouchers to local food growers and gift cards to grocery stores are also given to participants at select times throughout the school year.

The 7-12th grade Guidance Office keeps a supply of quick and easy food, individually wrapped granola bars, and other nutritional snacks for students who come in and express their hunger. In addition, we have created a snack cupboard, where elementary teachers can get snacks for the students in their class who are not able to bring snacks from home.

panther paw

DONATIONS

The Panther Paws Project is made possible through the generous donations of supplies and money from our community partners, community members, parents, PHCS organizations, and PHCS staff. The funds and supplies donated to these programs are used to help meet the holistic needs of our PHCS students. Donations help with getting food to families during our monthly Backpack Program food drops, having clothing, personal hygiene products, and school supplies available for students in need, filling back-to-school backpacks with school supplies for district student's, and being able to purchases other needed items throughout the school year when needs arise. We are always grateful for the kindness and generosity of our community. You can use the OR code to the left to make a monetary donation or contact April Fullerton at afullerton@phcsd.org for more information on other ways you can donate.