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To feed more children in your community.

OVERVIEW

Our Goal: Ending Childhood Hunger

Food insecurity, already a serious concern before COVID-19, is now a top community issue in Schenectady County. Due to The Schenectady Foundation's work on improving our county’s food pantry system, we have found that food insecurity is growing as families do not have consistent access to food in the household.  That makes the Weekend Backpack Partnership more important than ever to address the hunger and nutrition needs of elementary school children in our county. 

In 2017, based on requests from other school districts, the Partnership expanded its services to children in Duanesburg, Mohonasen, Schalmont, and Scotia-Glenville. Niskayuna has its own program. The cost remains about $6 per child per week. We expect more than 1,250 children and families throughout Schenectady County will receive about 30,000 pounds of fresh produce in nearly 37,000 weekend deliveries either to their schools or to centralized pick-up locations.  

   TYPICAL WEEKEND FOOD SUPPLY*

  • Stewart’s card for a gallon of milk or a dozen eggs.
  • Fresh fruit
  • Bread
  • Canned veggies & fruit
  • Healthy entrée
  • Snacks
  • Breakfast items
*contents may vary depending on availability of products.

WHY IT MATTERS

Teachers describe the impact of food insecurity on their students:  waning attention, lack of energy, absenteeism and anxiety leading to acting out in class.  It can exact a devastating toll on a student's readiness to learn.  Teachers and school staff also tell us that they see the difference in students that can rely on the weekend backpack.  Students behavior and academic performance can often improve or be maintained.  Students are healthier and more likely to be ready to learn!

While the Weekend Backpack Partnership has made great progress since it was launched in 2014, we have more work to do to respond to the challenges of COVID-19. The need is growing in neighboring communities throughout Schenectady County. Despite the Partnership's marked increase in children served, with current resources we are reaching only 22% of kids in need.

Our Community Partners

The unique capabilities of each of the organizations in the Partnership have enabled us to reach more children, more effectively, and with greater impact.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP

Donations are Needed Today!

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You can make all the difference to children and families by donating to the cause.  All gifts are welcomed and appreciated.  Only $6 per week supports a child in our community for the school year.

IF YOU PREVIOUSLY volunteered for the Weekend Backpack Program, and would like to help again, contact Volunteer@citymission.com or call 346-2275, ext. 311. Due to restrictions around COVID-19, the City Mission can not take any new volunteers this fall. (Please note the photo below was taken in 2019.)

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DONATE

To help reach more children in your community this year, please make your tax-deductible contribution.

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A special thanks to our founding corporate sponsors for their 5 years of consistent support!

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