The answer to childhood food insecurity already exists

In a world where we’re focusing on SNAP can we also raise our voices for universal free breakfast and lunch programs?

In Pennsylvania, more than 13% of children are said to experience food insecurity, meaning they are unsure where their next meal will come from. These statistics only capture reported numbers, but based on the work we conduct daily and the stigma around food insecurity, it is most likely much higher.

Why does this matter? Because across the nation we are hearing about the impact of SNAP benefits dropping back to pre-2020 amounts, while families still face expensive grocery bills. While we are focusing on SNAP, children of all ages are literally going hungry when we already have a solution at our fingertips.

The answer? Universal school meals.

Currently, Pennsylvania offers free breakfasts to all students whose schools participate in the National School Breakfast Program but that does not include school lunches. 53% of school-age children qualify for free lunch or reduced lunch prices. However, this is still problematic for multiple reasons. The first is that if students are food insecure and only receive a free breakfast they are likely not eating again until the next school day. Secondly, there is stigma associated with “free” or “reduced” meals simply because of the name. When they are just “school meals” there’s no shame in opting in.

We are advocating for free school meals to be expanded to include every child, regardless of income. When we open our programs to all students, we see more engagement and we see the stigma typically associated with food insecurity removed. The best part is that these children learn to advocate for their own needs.

We have the power to cost-effectively reduce childhood hunger locally and nationally by implementing universal free breakfast and lunch programs for all students. We’re asking our friends and neighbors to join us in our fight against hunger by urging local and state representatives to pursue free school meals for all.


Dani Ruhf
Executive Director and Founder of Child Hunger Outreach Partners

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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Funds Sullivan County In-School Pantry

Child Hunger Outreach Partners is grateful to our corporate partner, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. With the help of their generous grant, CHOP will be able to open a new In-School Pantry in Sullivan County High School.

The In-School Pantry will provide nutritious snacks and to-go meals during the school day for all students. By being available to the full student body, we are able to reduce the stigma associated with food insecurity, and teens who are experiencing food insecurity can easily access items that they can use throughout the day, and take home.

“We simply could not do the work that we do without the dedicated support of community partners, like Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield,” said Dani Ruhf, CHOP Executive Director and Founder.

To learn more about CHOP’s programs, click here.

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Dandy Mini Marts Makes In-kind Donation

After recently going through a mod change in their stores, Dandy Mini Marts was kind enough to palletize their unused food and deliver it as an in-kind donation to Child Hunger Outreach Partners (CHOP) for redistribution through children’s programs in nine Pennsylvania counties.

Child Hunger Outreach Partners (CHOP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that, in just three years, has been able to combat child hunger for more than 15,000 children all across Northeastern Pennsylvania, with the ambition to add another 9,000 by the year’s end.

“We’re just happy to continue to partner with you over the years! The stores worked hard to pull the products for donation, and it was important to them knowing that it was all being done for a great cause,” shared Bill Bustin, Dandy Marketing Director. 

“As always, CHOP is beyond appreciative and thankful for all the help local businesses, like Dandy, provide. Without them, our ability to continuously seek expansion in an effort to do all we can to accomplish our mission of putting an end to U.S. child hunger,” said Dani Ruhf, CHOP CEO & Executive Director.

CHOP relies on volunteers and community partners to meet the local need. You can help by lending your time to pack and distribute food boxes at a pop-up pantry or making a monetary donation. Whatever action looks like for you, it has a ripple effect within the young lives in our communities!
To learn more, find food or support CHOP, visit www.chopouthunger.org or call (570)485-5050.

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CHOP Maryland receives Chamber community award

Child Hunger Outreach Partners is honored to announce that the Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce (CMC) recently announced that CHOP Maryland is the 2021 Business Partner of the Year during the 2021 Community Awards.

We know that this award is the result of the team commitment of our team and our network of volunteers and partners!

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CHOP Team Updates

Stephanie Clark – Program Manager of Wyoming and Susquehanna Counties, PA

We are saddened to announce that Stephanie Clark is relocating. In her short time at CHOP, she: grew the program from one county to three counties, built a large, solid volunteer base that supports our operations today, led a warehouse relocation and expansion, and fed over 1,000 children each weekly.

We are so thankful for all that she has dedicated to CHOP and our communities. She is an irreplaceable member of our team and we’ll miss her terribly.

We are excited to Nick Montoro, Development Associate

Nick Montoro joined the team on June 1 as Development Associate. As a recent graduate of Temple University, Nick will be leading events, marketing, and donor relations for CHOP.

“After four years of undergrad at Temple University, my experiences have allowed me to uncover a strong personal desire to serve others.

Upon graduating this past May and finally beginning my professional career, I like to introduce myself as an extremely motivated young philanthropist striving to make a positive impact on the lives of many!

I am extremely grateful and honored to take my first career step with Child Hunger Outreach Partners. The mission is something that really hits home and aligns with all my professional and personal values of service.

I truly look forward to getting started with the team and integrating myself into their amazing community.”

Click here to see the full CHOP Team.

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Merely the Best Bike Raffle

Our generous friends at Merely The Best are raffling a bike as a fundraiser for Child Hunger Outreach Partners.

Each ticket is $10, which allows us to feed 10 children for a weekend

Tickets can be purchased online or at Merely The Best in Eagles Mere. The drawing will be held on Labor Day, Sept. 6!

Click here to see a photo of the bike and to purchase tickets online.

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#CHOPOutHunger Annual Golf Tournament Raises $14,000

When a global pandemic kicked off just two years ago and the idea of hosting charitable golf tournaments began to wither away, we never thought that we’d have to wait so long to see all of our great supporters for a jam packed, in-person event. But that’s exactly what happened after COVID-19 put the world on hold and left us without any sense of normalcy for nearly 730 days.

All of that was forgotten on the morning of May 23, in a very optimistic 2021, when a joyful Dani Ruhf, CHOP CEO, CHOP staff, tournament sponsors, and golf teams tee’d off at Eagles Mere Country Club.

With greater excitement and bigger smiles than usual, everyone was ready for the fairways and greens, great food, and most of all, the opportunity to support a great cause while playing a round of golf. 

“I can’t even begin to explain just how happy I am to be back to normalcy and able to spend some quality time with our supporters,” said Ruhf, who started Child Hunger Outreach Partners back in 2018. “You never understand how important outings like these are until they are gone. We waited way too long to get back to this point but in the end our staff, our supporters, this club, and our incredibly generous sponsors never flinched with their support. Many of us went through some of our most troubling times within these past two years but thankfully enough, we were able to stick together and work through it. Everyone involved with CHOP has a fearless attitude and a giving spirit. That’s what makes this all possible!”

The first golf tournament of 2021 was just as grand as expected, led by Golden Plate sponsor Ace Robbins.

The day kicked things off with a traditional shot gun start, and some high quality play immediately ensued. 

Chris Collins won the 50/50 raffle, a total of $400 and he graciously donated it back to CHOP.

Overall, the day was nothing short of a major success! Many children will be helped because of the amazingly generous efforts offered by each and every participant. Together we raised $14,000!

Huge thank you to all of our sponsors: Ace Robbins, Icon, Inc, MAC Builders & Design Inc, Pop’s Flagstone, Wyalusing Valley Children’s Center, PS Band-Wyalusing, Wilder Diamond Blades, and Formula 1 Feeds, Inc. 

2021 Sponsors Include:

  • Ace Robbins, Inc – $5000
  • Industrial Construction Services & Design – ICON – $3000
  • MAC Builders & Design, Inc. – $1300
  • Wyalusing Valley Children’s Center, Inc. – $800
  • Wysox Children’s Center
  • Sullivan County PreK
  • Formula 1 Feeds – $750
  • Frank Construction – $750
  • PSBank – $500
  • Wilder Diamond Blades – $500
  • Rolling Souls -$250
  • Wysox Animal Clinic -$250
  • Sheldon Funeral Homes – $250
  • NAPA AUTO PARTS – $250
  • Shores Auto Sales, Inc. – $250
  • Bubbly Pup Grooming and Pet Supply – $250
  • FCCB – $200
  • Francis McCarty Insurance Agency – $125
  • Community Cup Coffee & Tea House – $125
  • Trowbridge & Co. Wealth Management Group – $125
  • The Sullivan Review – $125
  • Fitzpatrick and Lambert Inc. – $125
  • Central Pennsylvania Insurance Group – $100
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#CHOPOutHungerDay Gear

Support CHOP by purchasing #CHOPOutHungerDay gear! Click here to review all of the options now!

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