RaiderPacks - Making a Difference

RaiderPacks - Making a Difference
Posted on 11/24/2020



RaiderPacks is a food distribution program for MASD families supported by the Central PA Food Bank and the Middletown Area Blue Raider Foundation. Each week volunteers pack food items for qualifying families to pick up at the High School. Unfortunately, the 2020 pandemic put a halt to volunteers working in schools. As the RaiderPack Coordinators, Marta Monroig and Cynthia McLaughlin, planned for the new school year they didn’t know how they were going to pull off RaiderPacks without their faithful volunteers.

In the meantime, Mrs. Deanna Morder’s Life Skills class also had a pandemic dilemma. Her high school students who are usually assigned to work placements in the community were no longer permitted to enter area businesses. Mrs. Morder had students who needed work. RaiderPacks had work that needed students. By now you can see where this is going.

Every Friday, the Life Skills students meet the Food Bank delivery driver, unload items from the truck, and stock the RaiderPacks shelves. They organize the storage area and take inventory of the items. On Thursday mornings, the real work begins. The students move the items from storage and arrange them on tables. Then they begin their assembly line packing and prepare almost 100 bags of food and setup the distribution area for pick-up night. The students work in shifts, use time cards, and wear work aprons. They are true professionals and RaiderPack heroes.



Besides Christmas morning, there is nothing more exciting to an elementary kiddo than their birthday celebration. But for the past two years, Kunkel second grader, Zachary Ponnett, chose an unusual birthday wish. “For my birthday, instead of presents I asked for money to donate to RaiderPacks so I could help families in need.”

So in 2019, Zachary asked his parents, grandparents and cousins to skip the toy stores and instead simply give him money for his 7th birthday. He also sold some of his personal belongings at his family’s yard sale. Zachary ended up donating $400 to RaiderPacks. Then just a month ago he repeated the idea for his 8th birthday and raised another $285.

How did Zachary get this idea? “Last year I heard my parents talking about RaiderPacks. I heard them say that this was for families in need. So I thought…uh..I think I’ll do that for my birthday instead.” Zachary had the opportunity to witness a RaiderPacks distribution day in action and see how his money is used for meat, eggs, milk, produce and dry goods. He was amazed at how much food is given out and how many families were helped. He was even more shocked to find out how many families he was helping with his donation alone.

To find out how much of an impact Zachary has made, let’s do an elementary math word problem:

Zachary donated $400 for his 7th birthday, and $285 for his 8th birthday. It costs RaiderPacks about $125 to provide food for one family for one school year. How many families has Zachary helped in two years?

To find out the answer, go to our RaiderPacks page. And while you’re there, join this servant-hearted eight year old in making a small sacrifice with a big impact.

Zachary Ponnett

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