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People Helping People

in Hernando County, Inc.

Weekend Blessings

Weekend Blessings is a unique program designed to feed our preschool through high school students whose families are deemed in need or food insecure based on criteria in place at the school level. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the very successful program, now in its 10th year.

Every Friday, students in schools that participate in the program receive backpacks filled with food for the weekend. On Monday, students return the backpacks, ready to learn and then the cycle continues each week of the school year.  These backpacks include 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, soup and snacks. These items are easy to prepare and kid friendly items such as granola bars, individual cereal boxes, peanut butter, tuna, pasta with meat, juice boxes, snack fruit cups, etc.

Weekend Blessings is administered, operated and funded by People Helping People in Hernando County through individual donations, grants (namely, Suncoast Credit Union and United Way partnerships) and food drive items. Groups from local civic organizations, churches and religious groups partner with PHP by providing the logistical support needed to operate the program-packing, delivery and pick up of backpacks. Food is purchased mainly through the Citrus County Food Bank so that PHP is able to keep costs low. This program currently serves over 650 children each week through 9 Hernando County schools and two Hernando County Head Start programs.

Due to COVID-19, as schools were closed, PHP turned over hundreds of weekend food bags to several schools to dispense during their school’s drive-thru lunch programs. PHP has since begun a new Summer Blessings program to help provide ALL students in need of extra food at three locations throughout Hernando County to pick up food during the summer, until school reopens August 31.   

When the schools reopen, Weekend Blessings will then continue as close to normal as possible to our regular program of distribution throughout the schools but will continue to offer food pickup at several locations to serve the “at home” school population who are participating in E-School or Distance Learning.

PHP...taking a bite out of hunger in Hernando County!

Thank you to our Weekend Blessings sponsors

                          

Sponsor a Child

For only $150, you can sponsor a child for the entire school year.  Your funds will allow PHP to fill a backpack with nutritious food from August until June for food insecure students that attend school in Hernando County.

Shopping List for the backpack

  • Individual Cereal Packs
  • Cereal/Granola Bars
  • Canned Pasta with Meat
  • Canned Chili (with beans)
  • Canned Beef Stew
  • Canned Soup
  • Pork and Beans
  • Franks and Beans
  • Vienna Sausage
  • Tuna Salad or Chicken Salad with Crackers
  • Shelf Stable milk OR powdered milk
  •  Juice Boxes 6 oz.
  • 16 oz. Peanut Butter/Jelly
  • Crackers in Individual Serving Packets
  •  Fruit Cups
  • Single Serve Ramen Noodle Cups
  • Single Serve Macaroni & Cheese Cups
  • Single Serve Apple Sauce Cups
  • Pudding Snack Packs

Schools and Sponsors

                    SCHOOL                                              SPONSOR

  • Challenger K-8                                   First United Methodist Church
  • Deltona Elementary                           St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
  • Eastside Elementary                          Spring Lake United Methodist 
  • Explorer K-8                                       Forest Oaks Lutheran Church
  • Fox Chapel Middle School                 (pending new sponsor)
  • Head Start Brooksville                       St. Anthony the Abbot Catholic 
  • Head Start Spring Hill                        Grace Presbyterian Church
  • Pine Grove Elementary                      Nativity Lutheran Church
  • Spring Hill Elementary                       Temple Beth David
  • Weeki Wachee HS                             Islamic Center of Hernando County 
  • West Hernando Middle School          SpringLife Church of Spring Hill