During the school, on each Thursday, during regular pantry hours, our team assembles backpacks with enough nutritious food for three meals and healthy snacks for an entire weekend. Volunteers then deliver them to Rondout Valley Central School District elementary and middle school nurses who have helped to identify the children in need.
The backpacks go home with the selected children and are returned the following Monday to be refilled on Thursday. Dietary issues such as allergies, lactose intolerance and diabetes are also taken into consideration and appropriate food is included in the backpacks.
We are currently serving approximately 60 students a week and the program continues to grow. This year's backpack program will begin the end of September and continue through June.
Business sponsors led by Ulster Savings Bank and the Mid Hudson Valley Credit Union have made significant contributions in sponsorship as have Croswell Enterprises, Stone Ridge Jewelers, Hurley Motor Sport, Kingston Audiology Center, Stewart’s holiday match program, Hudson Valley Foundations for Youth Health and the Fresh Food fund grant from Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.
Many individuals also sponsored students for the school year and/or for a month. All contributions are deeply appreciated.
Thanks also to the many volunteers that make this program work – from obtaining the food & backpacks, packing the bags, getting them to the schools (and back again to be packed the next week) and to the schools for their support.