Monday: Backpacks Bring Big Help


The South Jefferson Central school district has joined the nationwide 'Backpack Program,' which provides packs of food for needy families.

Every other week, 20 high school students fill backpacks. Each pack holds enough food to feed a family for two days.

The backpack program is serving 50 families, with a cost per pack of $8, according to South Jefferson's food service manager Cynthia Overton.

Overton saw what was going on with school lunches: "More free, reduced meal applications were coming I just knew there were families out there in need."

In all, the program costs $14,400 a year, funded through donations of money and food.

"It is hard, though, to keep up with the need," Overton notes.

The backpacks are supposed to last families over the weekend or on vacation. Each pack contains two main meals, cereal, bread, fruit, vegetable and a protein, according to a statement from the district.

"A lot of it is making sure we have stuff that doesn't go bad before it gets sent home," said Taylor Patterson, a 17 year old volunteer.

The program goes through 400 pounds of food a week. It started in the fall of 2010.

Donations can be taken to the main school campus.

"We're very grateful for anything we get," said Fred Morris, a volunteer. "If someone feels the need and can only get one box of macaroni and cheese, that's fine."



Thursday, December 8, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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