Released 11 May 2012
Pay the rent or put food on the table?
That decision is an unfortunate
reality for many needy New Kensington area families. Adding children to the
mix only strains the budget further. And, once school is out for the summer,
kids lose the benefit of subsidized meals. But now, thanks to a grant from
Peoples Natural Gas, The Salvation Army’s New Kensington Worship and
Service Center can continue its Weekend Youth Backpack Feeding Program through
Every week from June through September,this summer
feeding program will
provide 50 deserving children with backpacks full of nutritional meals for the
weekend at The Salvation Army’s New Kensington Worship and Service
This facility provides a variety of youth in the New Kensington and
surrounding areas with spiritual, character building, and educational
enrichment programs as well as social development services. One of the most
essential services and the most difficult to fund is geared toward physical
development, most notably good nutrition.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our good friends
from Peoples Natural Gas,” said Captain Elvie Carter, The Salvation
Army’s New Kensington Worship and Service Center commanding officer.
“My staff and I are challenged with meeting the critical needs of
families on a daily basis.
This gift is a God-sent and welcome relief.”
Carter continued, “One our kids recently told me, ‘Captain, you
know why I like coming to The Salvation Army? It is the food. At my house my
mother is always gone and there is never enough food. If it wasn’t for
school and The Salvation Army, I wouldn’t know what me and my brothers or
sisters would do for food!’ ”
First initiated by the Westmoreland County Food Bank, the Weekend
Backpack Feeding Program has been a viable program for the past three years.
Through research and the collaboration of local agencies, churches and
residents of the New Kensington communities, it was discovered that a
significant number of children were not being provided with recommended
nutritional meals on a regular basis,beyond the breakfast and lunch that the
school district provided. It is the misfortune of these children due
insufficient family income, decrease of governmental funding, reduction of
feeding programs, and lack of some parental priorities that meals over the
weekends are limited, absent or are deficient in nutritional value.
“It is a privilege for Peoples Natural Gas to help families in
Kensington through sponsorship of The Salvation Army’s Weekend Youth
Backpack Feeding Program, “ said Peoples Natural Gas President and CEO,
Morgan K. O’Brien. O’Brien continued, “We don’t just
provide monetary support. Peoples Natural Gas employees provide thousands of
hours of volunteer service to organizations within our communities. Our
involvement is not a short term objective. It is embedded in our
company’s vision and values. We are a local company and support our
region and our customers through economic development and human service