Open Seat 48th E-Newsletter

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Week of April 9, 2018 

Department of Education Summer Food Service Program Seeks Sponsors

The PA Department of Education is encouraging organizations to help provide nutritious meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months through the Department’s Summer Food Service Program, which began in 1976 and is a federally-funded child nutrition program designed for those age 18 or younger in economically disadvantaged areas.  People over 18 who are mentally or physically handicapped and participate in public or nonprofit private programs established for the disabled are also able to receive free meals at program sites.

Participating organizations are reimbursed for meals served to children who live in areas in which at least 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.  Organizations must be year-round, not-for-profit entities, which include schools, local, municipal or county governments, libraries, churches, fire and police stations, residential summer camps and national youth sports programs.  Approved organizations are responsible for managing sites that provide the meals.  In 2017, 306 organizations in PA participated in the program, providing meals at over 2,600 locations throughout the state.  For more information on becoming a participating organization or a meal site, call 1-800-331-0129 or visit  The deadline to apply is June 15, 2018.

Lebanon County Commission for Women Hall of Fame Inductees

Congratulations to the honorable women recently inducted into the Lebanon County Commission for Women Hall of Fame!  This is a richly deserved recognition as they are all shining examples of community spirit whose many contributions are worthy of gratitude and respect!

Tracie Clemens, Ed.D. – Trailblazer

Kimberly Kreider Umble – Trailblazer

Josephine Ames – Women Demonstrating Leadership

Shila Ulrich – Women Demonstrating Leadership

Marsha Novick, M.D. – Women Promoting Healthcare

Patricia Bachman – Women Providing Leadership in Education

Debra Gingrich – Women Creating Community

The Reverend Dr. Gwendolyn Ward – Women Creating Community

Jessica Dreibelbis – Women Advocating Athletics

Linda Bell – Women Contributing to the Arts

Sue Bowman – Women Promoting Agriculture

Constituent Highlight:  Samuel Light Earns ECAC Men’s Basketball Honors

Samuel Light, of Jonestown, Lebanon County, and a graduate of Northern Lebanon High School, is one of two Lebanon Valley College (LVC) men’s basketball players who have earned All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors.  Samuel was named to the All-ECAC First-Team for the second year in a row.  One of the top scorers in the nation, he was named to the Bevo Francis Award Top 100 Watch List, which consists of the 100 best men’s basketball players in the country who compete for small schools in NCAA Division II and III, NAIA Division I and II, USCAA and NCCAA.  Samuel, a senior and team captain, was voted the MAC Commonwealth Championship Game Most Valuable Player, won the MAC Commonwealth Scoring Title for the second year in a row, and ranks 11th in the country in total free throws made and 18th in the nation with a 23 point-per-game average.  He is just the third player in LVC program history to score 2,000 career points and finished his career as LVC’s second-highest scorer (2,097) of all time. 

Commonwealth Financing Authority Approves Solar Energy Program Grants

The Commonwealth Financing Authority recently approved two Solar Energy Program grants for the 48th Senatorial District.  Weller Farms, of Myerstown, Lebanon County, was awarded a $136,080 grant for the purchase and installation of a roof-mounted 166.32 kW solar PV system on one of its three hog houses at their farm located in South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County.  The system will generate 186,809 kWh of electricity per year, offsetting 100% of the company’s annual energy needs.  Weller Farms began operation in 1997 and has four chicken houses, six hog barns, 200 acres of corn and 50 acres of soybeans.

Steelton-Highspire SD Solar Partners, LLC, of Mechanicsburg, was awarded a $770,000 grant for the purchase and installation of a 1,390 kW ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system in a field adjacent to Steelton-Highspire School District’s campus in Swatara Township, Dauphin County.  The system will generate 1,912,000 kWh annually, approximately 91% of the school’s annual usage.  All electricity generated will be purchased by the school district under a 25-year power purchase agreement for a $173,000 annual fee.

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