Tucker Patsey is a 10-year-old, fourth grade student at O’Hara Elementary School in the Fox Chapel Area School District. The son of Laurel Yasko and Luke Patsey, he plays baseball, basketball, enjoys woodworking and likes to draw and paint.
During the pandemic, Tucker spent a lot of time painting pictures. When a family friend saw his artwork, she commented on Tucker’s talent and told his mom that he should sell his paintings. Tucker and his mom agreed, and Tucker said he would like to donate the money he made to charity.
They researched local charities, and Tucker decided to donate to Backpack for Hunger because he liked the idea of helping other children, and he realized he wasn’t “his best self” when he was hungry. He wanted other children to be able to be their best and thought Backpack for Hunger could help them.
Backpack for Hunger provides free care bags of food to children in need in the Fox Chapel Area School District. The food bags are distributed discreetly through school guidance counselors. Backpack for Hunger’s mission is to provide food for students when they are not in school and may face the most extreme food insecurity.
Tucker’s parents are understandably proud of him. “Not just for his creativity and talent but, more importantly, for recognizing that he can use his abilities to help others,” said Yasko.
Tucker draws and paints on 5x7 canvases, and his bright, happy artwork sells for $10 per painting on Instagram (art2combathunger). In the first month since the project began, he had already raised $475 for Backpack for Hunger.
Since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020 until now, Backpack for Hunger has distributed nearly 20,000 bags of food. The program operates year-round and also places food bags in the community at the Blawnox, Indiana Township and Sharpsburg Municipal Buildings, at the Sharpsburg Community Library, and at the Second Harvest Thrift Store. Backpack for Hunger food bags contain approximately 15 non-perishable food items (three breakfasts, three lunches, lots of healthy snacks) including cans of soup/ravioli, fruit cups, applesauce pouches, protein bars, peanut butter, and more.
Tucker said that he plans to continue selling his artwork to raise money for Backpack for Hunger for years to come.
To see and purchase Tucker’s artwork, visit art2combathunger on Instagram. To learn more about Backpack for Hunger, visit www.backpackforhunger.org or email email@example.com. Donations can also be mailed to Backpack for Hunger, P.O. Box 11266, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.