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Leo Club Volunteers at CHOP

By: Emily McCarthy/Junior Writer

What is CHOP?

The Child hunger outreach program is an organization created to help those in need. The CHOP program is made up of volunteers spending their own time to help the county. CHOP’s mission is to “create a generation that doesn’t know hunger through innovative and collaborative outreach partners.”

The program has several different programs throughout the organization such as, The Backpack Program (students are given a bag of food every Friday to feed them throughout the weekend), In-School Pantries (An in-school snack pantry liable to all students throughout the day), pop up pantries (Allowing the organization to transport supplies needed to a community), and Summer Meal Programs (This program varies from having a weekly summer program with food provided, to the Backpack like boxes to families in need). All of these programs are being used to achieve CHOP’s overall goal.

Where did CHOP start?

The Child hunger outreach program became an organization over one child. The founder’s daughter after her first day of school informed her parents that students that didn’t have money for lunch simply did not eat, asking her parents to help. Soon after her mother heard this news, Dani knew she had to do something. This family went to work creating the CHOP organization. Now serving tens of thousands of students weekly in Pennsylvania.

CHOP at Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge is one of the many schools that has free food available for their students because of the Child Hunger Outreach Program, giving the school the opportunity to provide food to those who need it. They are able to do this by participating in the Backpack Program and In-School pantry’s. Kristen Latting, the home economics teacher for Blue Ridge High School, along with the advisor for Leo Club, took her club members to the CHOP location in Scranton to volunteer, helping the organization run for a day.

Communities Response

Latting states that “Chop (Child Hunger Outreach Program) has been supplying snacks and weekend bags for our students and families for 3 years. The Leo Club volunteered to bag 5,000 bags of rice and beans to add to the weekend bags.

We were happy to lend a hand for this great cause. If Blue Ridge Students were closer. they would have more opportunities to volunteer more often. The Leo club was able to get 3 schools ready for delivery (over the 500 weekend bags) and some will come to our families.

We have about 150 families signed up to receive bags on Friday to help with weekend meals. It’s free to sign up and has no income requirements. I am so grateful to have such amazing Leos that want to give back and help others! It warms my heart! ” 

It’s obvious that these acts of service don’t go unnoticed, a high school student from last year thanked Latting, “Thank you Latting for having these snacks, it’s not like we don’t have food at home, we do, it’s just not enough money for the ‘snacky’ stuff.” 

Blue Ridge could not be more thankful for this program that provides food for students on a daily basis.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from the use of this resource please contact Mrs. Latting!

More information at the CHOP website: 

More on the importance of good childhood nutrition: 

Learn more about the Leo Club:

Photo credits, from Mrs. Latting.


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Emily McCarthy
Emily McCarthy
Emily McCarthy is a junior at Blue Ridge High School, where she is the treasure of her class. Emily is a member of many clubs including Art club, Science club, FBLA, Leo club, student council, and SADD. Emily loves to cheer, she does competition along with basketball cheer. One of her favorite things to do outside of school is spending time with friends and family. 
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