Mary Ann Bauer
Second Grade Teacher
Ramsay Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant School District
Of the four elementary schools in the Mount Pleasant School District, Ramsay has the greatest percentage of students enrolled in the Free and Reduced Meal Program. Nearly 200 students qualify for this assistance based on their household income. To address childhood hunger in this community, the Westmoreland County Food Bank partners with Ramsay Elementary to provide the Backpack Program that aids 39 students with a two-day supply of meals each Friday during the school year. The program aims to nourish children over the weekend when they are home and do not have access to school meals.
How have you been affected by hunger?
I teach at an elementary school in Mt. Pleasant. There is over 58% that fall into the low income area. Most are able to get free or reduced breakfasts or lunches. The problem arises when they go home. Many parents have difficulty making ends meet. Students come in hungry and when they are hungry, it is difficult for them to concentrate and learn.
How has the Westmoreland County Food Bank impacted your life?
The Food Bank has helped our school families out tremendously. Since we began donating to the Food Bank through our Turkey Trot, it has been an eye opener for our families. Many are guided in the right direction if they are in need of food. We send home information about the Food Bank and how it works.
A wonderful program that we have gotten involved in this year is the backpack program. 39 students receive a backpack of food each Friday. The students are very appreciative. They look forward to Fridays. Our attendance is close to 100% for those students each Friday. I love the program and I love the smiles I see when handing out the backpacks!
What would you tell someone who may be thinking about donating to the Food Bank?
I encourage many to donate to the Food Bank. I even encourage those that receive some of the food donations to give if they can. Every little bit helps the Food Bank continue to do good for the community.