Our Partners
Many thanks to the organizations and individuals
that partner with us on this project:
St. Mary's 
St. Augustine
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
St. Mark's
Baldwinsville Kiwanis
Pam Milac
Your CNY Home Realty
Home, Heart & Community
 
Items We Need
Our program is meant to supplement meal programs and family food pantry contributions with breakfast and snack items just for the kids. Here are the items we include in their bags for each weekend:
-breakfast cereals in prepackaged individual servings
-breakfast or granola bars
-single serving boxes of raisins
-fruit snacks-fruit cups
-pudding and jello cups-crackers with peanutbutter or cheese(the little packages of them)
-individual packets of cookies, chips and crackers
-juice boxes
 
It is important that all items are new, in their own packaging and not expired. Expiration dates beyond June 2020 are currently ideal!
 
Bring your donations to:
Heart, Home & Community at 12 Oswego Street (parking in Baldwin Canal Square)
Monday - Friday 10am-2pm
 
Check back here often as our donation locations, days and time can change!
 
What We Do
Baldwinsville Rotary member Ann Smiley started the Backpack Program many years ago with the intention of serving children at risk of hunger on the weekends. We started packing bags with snacks and breakfast items that social workers discretely slip in backpacks each Friday. The items are specifically individual serving size, and do not require any cooking or mixing so they are easy for the kids to use. 
 
The number of children served has varied over the years. It depends on how successful the schools can be in getting parents to sign a consent form, which can be very challenging considering all that struggling families have to deal with on a daily basis. Our club is happy to serve however many students can provide permissions. In 2019, that was approximately 30 elementary students. Our food supply is also used to supplement the in-school pantries available at Ray and Baker with monthly or bi-monthly deliveries.
 
Update during coronavirus...
Due to school being cancelled, we have partnered with the district to provide enough backpacks for ALL students picking up meals as part of the free and reduced breakfast & lunch program. Each Friday while school is dismissed, we will provide over 200 bags to both the families that pick up and the ones receiving deliveries. This is almost ten times our previous service levels and is being supported by many to make it happen. Special thanks to Pam Milac for coordinating community donations, to the local churches for sharing their food pantries, and to the volunteers from our club who have pulled together a really amazing expansion of this vital community service. We work in small groups in a large space to follow social distancing guidelines, and have a great system in place to make the sorting and packing of the bags quick and easy. 
 
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project during our time of need!