Our Partners
Many thanks to the organizations and individuals
that partner with us on this project:
St. Augustine
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
St. Mary's
Baldwinsville Kiwanis
WT Brews
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 are providing to schools weekly:
  • Breakfast Bars/Granola Bars
  • Peanut Butter/Cheese-Filled Crackers
  • Raisins
  • Fruit Cups
  • Apple Sauce
  • Jiff-to-go & Pretzels
  • Single Serving Microwavable Meals
  • Wheat- and Peanut-Free Items
It is important that all items are new, in their own packaging and not expired. 
 
Bring your donations to:
 
St. Augustine's Church
Saturday - Thursday from 10am-1pm
 
WT Brews
18 E Genesee Street (Behind Dollar Tree)
During regular business hours
 
Thank you to everyone who has taken time to support this important nutritional program in our community!
 
What We Do
Baldwinsville Rotary member Ann Smiley started the Backpack Program in 2015 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. Our club is happy to serve however many students the elementary school social workers report are in need. Our food supply is also used to supplement the in-school pantries available at Ray and Baker.
 
The coronavirus posed a big challenge when schools closed because we know that didn't diminish the need for nutritional support. Thankfully we were able to lock arms with the school district to provide our weekly breakfast and snack items as part of their meal pick up each Friday. This had us jump from 30 bags per week, to 250. Then, after the school opened up their meal program to all families in need, we continued to match their delivery numbers, which peaked at over 600 per week before the school year ended mid-June. 
 
When schools resumed in the fall, it was still a bit challenging figuring out the best way to serve children in need. Thanks to collaborating between our project chair Mary and the social workers in the schools, we worked out a new system to deliver weekly bins to the participating schools and let social workers distribute the food items as needed. They could be for students in need during the day and for take home for those in need after hours. With the alternating schedules, and kids going back and forth between virtual and in-person, this is the ideal way to ensure they have access to supplemental food items during the week.
 
As things are getting a little bit more consistent with students in school regularly, we've been able to to return to our original backpack program with weekly deliveries to all five local elementary schools. We continue to supplement the food pantries that serve older students too.
In the 2021/22 school year, we are delivering just over 90 bags of breakfast and snack items every week. Your donations get right into the hands of local students, truly making a difference in their lives.
 
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project during our time of need!