What is Neighborhood Connection?
Neighborhood Connection is a non-profit organization dedicated to fight childhood hunger.
Neighborhood Connection provides supplemental weekend food for school children who qualify for school breakfast & lunch programs.
What are Pantry Packs?
Pantry Packs are gallon sized ziploc bags filled with enough child friendly, shelf-stable food for 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and several snacks.
Who benefits from Pantry Packs?
In Washington County there are approximately 35,000 students enrolled in grades K-12. Of these students, over 17,000 qualify for free & reduced lunch.
- Neighborhood Connection serves Pantry Packs to 800 students each week who are at risk of going without food on the weekends.
- These students are identified by teachers and administrators as children “in need of food assistance.”
- Distribution is done in such a way as to preserve the dignity of the children and their families.
- Coral Cliffs Elementary
- Desert Canyon Elementary
- Panorama Elementary
- Paradise Canyon Elementary
- Riverside Elementary
- Santa Clara Elementary
- Sunset Elementary
- Vista School
What’s included in a Pantry Pack?
It is important that each pack has all of the same individual size, child friendly items listed – nothing more, nothing less. Thank you for being mindful of the need for consistency. No child should feel he/she gets more or less than another child.
- Sliding ziploc gallon size bag
- Individual service microwavable meals, 7-8 oz. (e.g. mac’n cheese, spaghetti & meatballs, chicken & rice, cup-o-soup)
- Shelf stable milk
- Applsauce, fruit cup, or squeeze fruit pouch
- Pudding cup (shelf stable)
- Juice box or pouch
- Instant oatmeal packet
- Individual package of peanut butter crackers or cheese & crackers
- Granola bars
- Fruit snacks
- Child friendly card with a positive message
It is only because of the support and efforts of the community & volunteer groups that we are able to continue our mission. For this reason, we ask for donations of money, time, and/or food.
Each Pantry Pack costs only $3. It takes $96,000 to feed 800 students for one month. Of course, any amount of money is appreciated.
It takes many helping hands to complete our mission each week. We appreciate your help with any part of the process of our Pantry Pack program: unpacking and organizing the donated food, and packing into individual Pantry Packs. You can also pack a Pantry Pack at home.
To donate an already packed Pantry Pack, please refer to the Pantry Pack list for the necessary food items to buy. Please be mindful of expiration dates and buy food with the longest possible shelf life.
100% of all donations stay in Washington County to cover the cost of providing children in need with food on the weekends.
Sponsor a child for a month: $12
Sponsor a child for a school year: $111
2023 Women of the year
Founder & Executive Director | Neighborhood Connection
By Izzy Howell from Utah Business
Donna MacBean has been called the “Mother Theresa of Southern Utah” for a reason. Her philanthropic resume boasts decades of experience with dozens of organizations, including the Utah Nonprofits Association, Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah, the St. George Dixie Elks Lodge and countless others.
Currently, MacBean is a member and Dixie Sunshiner of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, is on the board of the Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce, and is the founder and executive director of Neighborhood Connection, a nonprofit dedicated to providing weekend meals for children.
“Between kindergarten and grade 12 in Washington County, there are 17,000 students that live with food insecurity,” she says. MacBean was originally introduced to this problem at a gala while speaking to other guests who were passionate about the cause. The overwhelming number of children in need initiated MacBean’s and her friends’ efforts to start the foundation, and to date, those statistics still fuel her dedication every day. “If you realized how hard it might be [to do this kind of work] ahead of time, you might not do it,” she implores. “You have to have a passion for it.”
Before dedicating the latter half of her career to philanthropy, MacBean made a name for herself as an entrepreneur, managing multiple shopping centers, an auctioneering firm, two service stations and a fly-in fishing lodge before founding Housecleaning by Donna, a residential and commercial janitorial services company in Southern Utah. But giving back has always been second nature: MacBean reminisces about her childhood and how her parents made giving back a priority no matter what. “It’s what we did,” she says.
For over a decade, she participated in a group that purchased and cooked food for people experiencing homelessness. Today, she helps host Christmas Day event where she and over 100 volunteers serve food and organize entertainment for those in need. MacBean also hosts annual golf tournament fundraisers to help fund her efforts at Neighborhood Connection, which she runs out of her garage.
When asked about how she manages to get everything done, MacBean cites her boundless energy. “I’m 73 years old, but I still have an 18-year-old inside of me,” she says. “I couldn’t do this without great people around; I have the best people around me.”
P.O. Box 140 Santa Clara 84765