If you have children in Marietta City Schools, you likely know about the GoPacks program. In this issue, we give a brief overview, but we will be saying a lot more next month, and in April, we’ll talk about the Top Chef Challenge sponsored by GoPacks!
I spoke to Heather Warner, the executive director and founder of the program. It was initially created by the First Presbyterian Church as a mission to the local area, but it is now a standalone 501c3 non-profit, is a United Way Community Partner and a member of the Coalition Creating Healthy Communities. Presently, the organization has 110 active volunteers and 2 paid staff.
Their mission is to reduce food insecurity and help build families’ resources and support networks. Warner says they are “relationship-based” and work with families. They publish a catalog each semester with resources available in the area, and they publish an annual newsletter. When a family enrolls, they attend an orientation, and at least one member of each family is required to attend one program from the catalog per year. Though Warner says most families participate in much more than that. GoPacks collaborates with 28 local organizations.
Children receive a pack of food for the weekend on Fridays, and the day before vacations and holidays, except for summer vacation.
Pictured here are volunteers working on last week’s GoPacks (names: Judy Allen is the Super Volunteer of the week, Myra Doublas, Leah Rake, and Heather Warner). Also, the two refrigerators were donated by Creating Healthy Communities. The freezers can be changed to refrigerators when needed. Heather was happy to say that GoPacks can now receive more produce from Harvest of Hope! Produce and other perishables are distributed differently. She sends out messages using Remind App and those who want them to make arrangements for pick up.
Stay tuned for more on GoPacks, and sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss anything. We’ll be including an article in newsletters as we’re able, providing information about businesses and linking to the events calendar.