2018 Heart4Hunger Dinner and Silent Auction


WGAL "8 Who Care Award" given to Christine Drexler, Cocoa Packs' President and Founder (2017)

Brownie Troop 11022 Donates to Cocoa Packs

Hershey Brownie Troop 11022 used some of the earnings from their cookie sales to purchase items for the Cocoa Packs program.


Copyright 2009-2016 The Sun, All Rights Reserved

Fifth Graders Donate to Cocoa Packs

The fifth-graders at Hershey Elementary held their winter parties Feb. 10 and Feb 11 and collected food for “C.O.C.O.A” packs. The food packs are distributed weekly to sustain students during non-school hours. The program serves 227 students and continues to register new families each week. Any family in the Hershey area experiencing financial hardship and could benefit from this resource can register at www.hershey.k12.pa.us (now register here) under the Community link. Photo: Nathan Merkel.

Copyright 2009-2016 The Sun, All Rights Reserved


Shine a Light--A Tale of Two Cities

Essays from our readers

By Kathy Taylor, Derry Township

In Sun Country, one town’s school district has a better rating than the United States’ credit rating, mainly because this lucky town’s citizens have “very strong wealth and income levels.” This town’s citizens have money, a lot of it. This town educates its kids well and this town has a strong tax base. This town’s citizens have enough discretionary income to eat out, socialize around meals, and then get a gym membership to work off any extra pounds.

In the other town, the citizens have a good school, but this town’s inhabitants don’t have much money. The children don’t have enough food, and they don’t have enough money to get food. Their parents do not have money for restaurants, gym memberships, or meeting up with friends for a bite. No Ladies Who Lunch and no expensive birthday parties for kids.

Odd thing is these two towns are the same town: Hershey. And both of these citizenries go to Derry Township Public Schools. Over 600 kids in the Derry Township School District are getting free or subsidized meals at school, based on their families’ low incomes. And there are other kids in Derry Township whose families are living on the edge, poised to plunge into economic poverty. A shocking statistic is that the poverty rate in Hershey mirrors that of Harrisburg which mirrors that of the United States: 1 out of 5 kids lives in poverty. Poverty is growing faster in Hershey than in any other nearby community except Harrisburg.

Enter a group of students’ moms for whom the very thought of a child getting inadequate food is unacceptable. These moms, organized by Christine Drexler, created Cocoa Packs, Inc., a program that provides students with food over the weekends. Their first year, distributing food to students on Fridays at the school, was a success. But then they got to thinking: what’s going to happen over the summer? Can we just turn our faces away from the problem for a whole season? They’ve decided to provide food over the summer. But Cocoa Packs moms also don’t want to operate “hand to mouth”; they want to know money is available so that they can help feed their children’s classmates all year. They held a small fundraiser a couple of weeks ago.

This is where you, the reader, come in. If you have a child or grandchild and you have enough money to feed your child or grandchild adequately, please consider making a donation to Cocoa Packs, Inc., so that some other parents’ children get enough food. Actually, if you were ever a child, think about helping these kids. It’s the right thing to do.

Charles Dickens started “A Tale of Two Cities” by writing “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …” some of us are in the best of times; others of us are in trouble. We cannot change things to be as we’d like, but we can make them better. Cocoa Packs, Inc., c/o Christine Drexler, 500 Homestead Road (Middle School), Hershey, PA 17033. 

Copyright 2009-2016 The Sun, All Rights Reserved


My children have so appreciated receiving this extra food assistance on the weekends during a difficult time the last 5 months. We are happy to share we are now making it on our own. Your support was deeply appreciated.
— Mother of Five Children