Mack and Jack’s Snacks Creates Treats Bags for Families
written by Mack Alfele ’22
written by Mack Alfele ’22
Mack and Jack prep monthly snack bags for St. Vincent de Paul's pantry
The St. Vincent de Paul pantry at Little Flower Church in Hollywood feeds over 500 people in need every month. Three years ago I started helping deliver food packages to these families as part of my learning service requirement at C-M. What started as a “requirement” for school has evolved into giving as part of my daily life.
I realized that while the food provided through the Church is critical to keeping families from going hungry, there wasn’t much in the boxes that was geared specifically for kids. I thought about the kind of things I like to eat as an after school snack, and that’s where the idea for Mack and Jack’s Snacks got started.
This past fall, I recruited fellow junior and friend, Jack Lohse, to help me start putting together snack bags of non-perishable items that could be added into the food boxes to be delivered to families. Every box that goes to a family with children contains “Mack and Jack’s Snacks” treat bags for each child in the family.
“We started in September putting together Halloween themed bags for October,” says Jack. “We try to have a mixture of items that kids will like, things like chips, a juice box or chocolate milk, fruit roll-ups and cookies.”
We have received donations from friends and family members and have the support of other C-M students who have helped put the bags together. In just the first few months since launching the snack initiative, we’ve provided more than 350 snack bags and are looking for ways to expand.
Daria Bernstein, who manages the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, has seen the demand for food increase because of COVID. “The need is huge, especially with the pandemic, the number of people needing help has increased weekly,” says Mrs. Bernstein. She added that the snack bags have been a positive addition to the pantry’s deliveries. “The snack bags always get a big smile from the kids as well as the parents and everyone requests and loves the snacks. Our ability, because of Mack and Jack, to have something special for the kids makes our members feel uplifted.”
In December 2020, we partnered with Junior Achievement in their Backpack Drive. “J.A. gave out 500 backpacks and food boxes in December and was blessed to have Mack and Jack’s Snacks as a part of the program,” says J.A. Director of Development and Events Robyn Harper who described the event as a huge success.
We are now working to expand the program and form a non-profit organization to make it easier to solicit donations from grocery stores and other businesses. Our logo includes the phrase “4 Kids from Kids” and that’s an important part of our motivation. “It’s pretty cool to know that something we’re doing is making other kids’ lives a little better even in a small way,” says Jack. Beyond the food, the snack bags are a way to let kids, whose families are struggling, know that other kids care.