By Mary Sheerin, AHSP Volunteer

The Andes Healthy SnakPak program resumes as the Andes School opens for the fall semester. Volunteers fill paper bags with healthy snacks for all the children of grades Pre-K through 3; the bags will be given out to each student as they depart the building for the weekend. Included are likely to be an assortment of cut raw veggies, like peppers, zucchini, celery, and cherry tomatoes. A fresh fruit such as a wedge of melon or an apple or banana, cheese, and nuts, dried raisins or cranberries, healthy crackers, complete the bag. Homemade, chemical-free popcorn is a special treat. Volunteers scrutinize labels to assure that no chemical additives are present in any item.

The major imperative at the moment is to increase the number of volunteers. Service involves rotating volunteers on Fridays from 1-2 pm, to prepare food and fill bags. It’s lots of fun for an important project to advance the well-being of the Andes community. Call Buffy Calvert to sign on, at 845 676 3986.

The mission of AHSP is to provide healthy snacks over the weekend when school meals are not available as well as to educate parents and children to healthy alternatives to commercially made, chemical-laden snacks. This year the program expects to provide snacks weekly, throughout the school year, to 41 students.

The program is fully volunteer, with no paid staff or overhead; the premises for packing the bags is the Andes Presbyterian Churc h. Funds for purchasing the weekly foods and the auxiliary needs, e.g., paper & plastic bags, come from private donations, the generosity of the congregation of the Cabin Hill Presbyterian Church that regularly donates Price Chopper gift certificates, and the proceeds from the annual Cycle the Sky event. The project has the enthusiastic support of Andes school superintendent, Dr. Robert Chakar, and the school staff. Join us as contributor and/or volunteer.~