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NW Lehigh student volunteers as part of Girl Scout award

For many, Friday marked the end of the Weekend Food Pack program at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Slatington.

But for Madison Kocher, the conclusion of the program meant one day closer to the successful completion of her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Madison spoke during the Breakfast Bunch program, where kids and their parents enjoy a free breakfast Monday through Friday in the summer.

She said that through her volunteering at the program, “I saw the need and thought, ‘What are they going to do for food?’ ”

“After the first week, I saw how the parents and kids showed their appreciation,” Madison said. “It made me feel like I was making a difference in their lives.”

The program assures that each Friday the children get a bag of lunch to last them for the weekend, said Madison, who will be a junior this year at Northwestern Lehigh High School.

Madison said she did about 30 bags a week, which is about how many children ages 3 to 18 within the Northern Lehigh School District attended the program.

As part of their bag of food, they received milk, vegetables, fruit, macaroni and cheese, fruit snacks, tuna and crackers, and either a can of ravioli or soup on a rotating basis.

Bonnie Young, who serves on the Gold Program Committee, said she was excited for Madison.

“I think she did very well with the project,” Young said. “It was a lot of hard work.”

Young said the Gold Program is the highest program around, and is like the equivalent of the Eagle award for Boy Scouts.

The Gold Award is the top achievement in Girl Scouts, something that hasn’t gone lost on Madison, a member of Girl Scout Troop 6006.

“It’s a part of my Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout can get,” she said.

Lynn Haab, coordinator of the Breakfast Bunch program, said this marked the ninth year for the program.

Haab said the program is funded by local donations including a $1,000 grant from the Bill Sugra Memorial Fund, the Lions, Slatington Rotary, Northern Lehigh Pastoral Association, individual churches from the pastoral association and individuals.

She said they had about 35 volunteers, about 1,000 breakfasts were served, and about 750 lunches were sent out as well.

Madison Kocher holds a bag of food that was given to kids and their parents as part of the Weekend Food Pack program this summer at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Slatington. Every Friday, they got a bag of food to last them for the weekend. The program was part of Madison’s Gold Project for Girl Scouts. Madison will be a junior this year at Northwestern Lehigh High School. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app for a video. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS