Backpack & Summer Lunch

Backpack Weekend Food Program

Each Friday afternoon during the school year, participating students receive a backpack containing meals and snacks to take home with them for weekend. On Monday, students return their empty backpack to the school so it can be refilled for the following weekend. Examples of food students receive include: cereal, soup, tuna, spaghetti, crackers, fruits, and more.

The YMCA works closely with local schools to distribute information to students/parents qualifying for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program. Parents interested in enrolling their child/children complete a brief, confidential application and permission form. No child is turned away from this program. More information can be obtained by contacting your child’s school.

Serving these school districts in the 2016-17 school year:

Bald Eagle Area           Moshannon Valley Area          Penns Valley Area

Bellefonte Area             Philipsburg-Osceola Area       State College Area         West Branch Area

Program Volunteers

The Backpack Program is made possible through the dedication and commitment of volunteers. Backpacks are prepared weekly at centrally located sites (listed below) and then delivered to participating schools. For information about volunteering at a site, contact: Mel Curtis at 342-0889 or

Philipsburg-Osceola Middle School, Moshannon Valley Elementary School, West Branch Elementary School, Wingate Elementary School, Penns Valley YMCA Program Center, and State College YMCA.


Your financial support helps the Y continue its commitment to feeding kids. Donations can be given in person at any YMCA of Centre County branch stating it is for the BackPack Program or mailed to Moshannon Valley YMCA, P.O. Box 426, Philipsburg, PA 16866. If you would like to designate a specific community/school district, please note that with your donation. Gifts can also be made by clicking here or scrolling to the bottom of this page.

Making An Impact

  • Since 2004, the YMCA started the Summer Lunch Program with two sites in the Philipsburg-Osceola School District serving summer lunches through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.
  • By the end of the 2015-16 school year, over 700 children in six school districts were receiving a backpack of food each weekend. Currently we are serving over 965 Backpacks.
  • Local businesses, individuals, families, and school groups have truly embraced the opportunity to help kids in their community by giving their time, talents, and treasure to support the Y’s efforts.
  • The YMCA has also partnered with Moshannon Valley EMS, Bellefonte EMS, and Centre Life Link who carry the food backpacks in their vehicles.
  • To support its Anti-Hunger Programs, the YMCA of Centre County has been awarded substantial grants through Walmart Foundation/YMCA of the USA Year Round Food Program, Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program, and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

For More Information About YMCA Anti-Hunger Programs Mel Curtis – 814-342-0889 or email

Watch our backpack program in action 

Watch the video from WTAJ here

Summer Lunch Program

The YMCA’s 2016 Summer Lunch Program served over 25,000 meals and snacks to school age children. These meals were served at 15 different sites through out the area. We feed approximately 1,500 children during the summer that would be unduplicated numbers for the total meals served. This year, summer 2017, we will be adding 3 additional new sites for feeding children which enabled us to reach even more children. Information will be sent to the schools on the locations where children may take part in the program.

As we look forward to summer 2017, we are seeking additional locations to expand this program. These facilities would need a kitchen so the food can be kept at a constant temperature and rest room facilities. We are also seeking organizations that would consider partnering with the YMCA to help serve these children. Our goal is to provide enrichment programs at sites that will provide not only physical activities but educational activities to help the children over the summer months, if space is available.


Mel Curtis – 814-342-0889 or email