SOUDERTON — Every August, Keystone Opportunity Center turns its attention to students in need. With the help of businesses and individuals in the community who donated the items, Keystone Opportunity Center distributed more than 400 new backpacks filled with new school supplies to low-income elementary, middle and high school students in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Last year, area agencies distributed a great number of backpacks to the community. But when Keystone Opportunity Center learned that one agency would cease their backpack program, Keystone knew it had a responsibility to lead the charge. With the help of individuals, businesses like Americold, business associations like the Greater Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and community groups like United Way of Bucks County, backpacks of all colors and sizes soon filled Keystone Opportunity Center’s conference room in preparation for the new school year.
This year, Keystone Opportunity Center distributed 425 filled backpacks to students getting ready for the school year. As Keystone had two new programs to distribute to -- the Family Literacy Program relaunched last November, and Fresh For All, the food distribution program taken over last fall, Keystone has been able to distribute more backpacks to clients than ever before. Keystone Opportunity Center also formed partnerships with the Souderton Area School District and the Indian Valley YMCA to distribute backpacks to additional students in need.
In Souderton Area School District specifically, one in four children qualifies to receive free or reduced meals throughout the school year, illustrating the level of need. Over summer, Keystone Opportunity Center offered free lunches to these children, and will continue accepting and distributing school supplies through the school year. School just started, but school supplies may not last all ten months of school. Additional donations can be made to Keystone Opportunity Center Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm or Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, or online at www.KeystoneOpportunity.org/backpack.
Keystone Opportunity Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers a comprehensive array of social services that educate, encourage and empower people to become self-sufficient. Keystone Opportunity Center is housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, and educating adults and families in Bucks and Montgomery counties. More information on Keystone Opportunity Center can be found at www.KeystoneOpportunity.org.