Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund provides for children in need –
By Patricia Beech –
In a joint effort to combat childhood hunger, North Adams Elementary and Church 180 in Seaman have teamed up with the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund to send home weekend packages of food for students in need.
The Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, which is based in Portsmouth, Ohio, works in conjunction with the Free Store Food Bank to fund “power packs” of food in 18 different elementary schools in Adams, Scioto, and Pike Counties.
Each child participating in the program receives approximately four pounds (12 to 15 items) of nutritious, shelf-stable, easy to prepare food every Friday before they go home for the weekend. North Adams Elementary is the first school in the Adams County/Ohio Valley School District to benefit
from this program. Manchester Elementary is also a participating school.
The program was established in January of 2006 by Mark and Virgie Hunter in memory of their son, Steven who was a 2003 graduate of Portsmouth High School and a student at Shawnee State University and Milligan College.
According to the fund’s website, it is their mission to improve the lives of economically disadvantaged children by supplying basic needs and opportunities and fostering hope for their future: “Our primary focus is childhood hunger and it is addressed through Steven’s Power Pack Program,
which provides food for the weekend for elementary aged school children with financial needs.”
As a result of this loving tribute to their son, the Hunters have ensured that 1,164 students will have more food to eat during this school year.
The Hunters saw their program in action last week during a visit to North Adams Elementary.
“They always like to come to the schools that receive Steven’s Power Packs of food,” said NAES Principal Deirdre Mills. “Even though it’s been many years since their son passed away, you can tell their sadness is still very fresh – there were a couple times when they were both close to tears while
speaking about their son and his memory.”
Mills said the couple was very impressed with the school’s participation.
“They really like a lot of the programs we’re doing with the kids, and the fact that our mission is ‘Creating Hope at School’ because that’s part of their mission as well with the Steven A. Hunter Food Fund.”
Mills said that Randy Chandler, representative for Church 180, was instrumental in laying the ground work for the school’s partnership with the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.
“We actually started what we call the North Adams Elementary Weekend Food Program three years ago when we thought there was a need,” said Chandler. “At the time we did some research and ended up following the example that the West Union Church of Christ was doing at West Union Elementary, which was Blessings in a Backpack.”
After becoming familiar with the work the Hunters were doing, Chandler said the group decided to switch programs when their contract with Blessings in a Backpack ended.
“Mark is a businessman in Portsmouth, and we thought it would be a good idea to work with their fund because they’re local,” said Chandler. “They’ve done a lot for the community in their area and we’re hoping maybe to leverage some of that for Adams County,”
The Hunter’s program provides funds to the Free Store Food Bank which, in turn, provides the Power Packs the kids take home on the weekends.
According to Chandler, several churches and businesses in the Seaman area also help with funding for the program.
Please visit www.stevenshopefund.org if you would like more information regarding this program. Donations can also be made at the website or by mailing a donation to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund,