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BackPack program expands

United Way assists Ticonderoga effort

More than 100 Ticonderoga students have access to nutritious food during weekends thanks to the community’s BackPack program.

More than 100 Ticonderoga students have access to nutritious food during weekends thanks to the community’s BackPack program.

— More than 100 Ticonderoga students have access to nutritious food during weekends thanks to the community’s BackPack program.

Sponsored by the Ticonderoga Kiwanis, the program provides backpacks filled with nutritious, easily-prepared foods to eligible students every weekend during the school year. During the week students have access to federaly-funded breakfast and lunch programs.

The program now serves 120 children at four schools, according to John Bartlett, Kiwanis BackPack coordinator.

“The additional nutrition is designed to help these students eat healthy over the weekend and be better prepared for their classes and other educational opportunities Monday through Friday,” Bartlett said.

Helping Kiwanis with the program is the United Way of the Adirondack Region.

“The United Way board awarded a Seed Money grant to the BackPack program just before Christmas, which was a huge help in meeting the high priority needs of the program,” Bartlett said. “In addition, in January the United Way also awarded a MLK National Day of Service grant in support of the program.

“We are extremely grateful to the United Way for their support of this very important program and would like to especially thank John Bernardi and Kathy Snow for their assistance,” Bartlett said.

The United Way of the Adirondack Region provides support to more than 30 partner agencies which provide service and assistance throughout the North Country.

“This support and sponsorship from the United Way has been a big help in keeping the program growing to support more and more eligible children and their families,” Bartlett said. “Beginning Jan. 30, the program expanded from serving 90 students to providing 120 backpacks each weekend. The program has also grown from one to four schools.”

The cost to sponsor one child for an entire school year is only $167, Bartlett said.

“Donations to this very worthy cause are tax-deductible,” he said. “All of the donations received are used to purchase the food for the program from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, which provides the food at a much more affordable cost than other sources.”

For more information people can contact Bartlett at jbartlett1@nycap.rr.com.

The Kiwanis Club of Ticonderoga is an all-volunteer community service organization that supports a variety of community initiatives with its number one priority being young children. Through its various projects and support for other community organizations, Kiwanis strives “to help make a difference in our communities.”

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