Stopping hunger, one backpack at a time
Above: Volunteers prepare backpacks filled with nutritious food for children to bring home for the weekend.
For young children, nutrition and learning go hand-in-hand.
During the school week, free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs help keep kids fed. But what happens to children on weekends, or when school isn't in session?
The BackPack program, administered in our region by the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, works to "alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with backpacks full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons so they have food to eat throughout the weekend."
This year, with support from Adirondack Foundation's Small & Significant program and Adirondack Gives, PRIDE of Ticonderoga helped bring the BackPack program to schools in Schroon Lake, Ticonderoga, and Crown Point.
"Thanks for all you do," said Betsy Dickson, children's program manager at the Regional Food Bank. "I mean it when I say that you all inspire me with your kindness and compassion for the students."
Here's some feedback from some of the children the program helped. (Please note: In the interest of privacy, we are not sharing the names of the children, parents, teachers or volunteers.)
- "I had no idea how much food goes into the backpacks!" – a volunteer after his first time filling the backpacks
- "Do we get to eat all of this ?" – a participating student after sneaking a peek inside his backpack on the bus
- "My students that are on the BackPack program have more energy, no more dark circles under their eyes, and generally seem to be a whole lot better." – a teaching assistant
For more information about Adirondack Gives, please click here. To learn about our Small & Significant grants program, click here.
To support causes like the BackPack program across our region, please consider a gift to our Generous Acts Fund using the form below.