For elementary school students who rely heavily on the hot meals provided by schools, weekends at home where food may be scarce can be tough. Recently, hundreds of Washington County residents joined Range Resources and other local companies – to help close that gap.

The local effort was tied to a national non-profit known as Blessings in a Backpack.  The organization helps to ensure kids’ weekends are filled with more food, by providing elementary schoolchildren who are on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year. Backpack food includes easy-to-prepare, ready-to-eat foods, like granola bars, juice boxes, mac and cheese, and oatmeal. According to the group’s website, “There are 20+ million children in this country who are at risk of hunger.  [Those] children are fed during the school week by federal government programs, but we want to make sure they’re getting nutritional meals over the weekend, too.” Like many non-profits, Blessings in a Backpack and their community partners are funded by a combination of private donations, foundations and corporations – like Range Resources. 

In Washington County, the Bentworth School district participates in the program, and Range supports their efforts. In March, Bentworth held a community fundraiser they called “The Ultimate Family Game Night”. 

The goal was to raise money for Bentworth Blessings in a Backpack and its offshoot nonprofit, Bentworth Blessings.  A life-size Monopoly board was one of the highlights of the event, and Range was prominently featured on three board spaces: Range Resources Drilling, Range Resources Lane, and Range Resources Blvd.

Approximately 170 Bentworth students will benefit.  But as the program only provides food to students for 38 weekends out of the year, the group has formed another non-profit, Bentworth Blessings, to institute a summer food service for the kids.  The school district spans a geographically expansive area.  Eventually, Bentworth Blessings hopes to acquire a food truck, so that they can deliver food to those students who aren’t able to pick it up over the summer at a centralized location.  

With support from Range, other local companies, and the families who attended; “The Ultimate Family Game Night” raised more than $20,000 for Bentworth Blessings in a Backpack and Bentworth Blessings.  Founder and organizer Jennifer Cario told the Observer-Reporter, “We’ve heard a lot of good and amazing feedback…  We’re pretty happy.”

For Range, providing support to organizations like these helps us to uphold a critical component of our corporate responsibility: supporting and improving the quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work, with long-term sustainable positive impacts on organizations tied to our industry and our communities. The kids who go home with full backpacks on a Friday afternoon, and are sustained by full bellies until they return to school on Monday, may not know about or understand our corporate responsibility – but we do.  And with community partnerships, food drives, volunteer hours, and personal donations – the employees of Range put it into practice all year round. 

Read More About Range’s Corporate Responsibility Here: Corporate Responsibility

Read More About Range’s Corporate Giving Policy Here: Corporate Giving