APW Schools Receive Support For BackPack Program

PARISH – Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District has received amazing support from the community for its BackPack Program, an initiative that works to feed APW students and families in need.

School Lunch Manager Bonnie Horning displays one of the backpacks from APW’s BackPack program, which works to feed families in need.
School Lunch Manager Bonnie Horning displays one of the backpacks from APW’s BackPack program, which works to feed families in need.

The initial pilot program provided at least eight items each week in each backpack, more for long weekends and school breaks; two each of proteins, grains, dairy and fruits or vegetables.

Foods are child-friendly, nutritious, individually packaged, small and light enough to carry, shelf stable and easy to prepare.

Participant families are referred to existing programs for which they may be eligible in an attempt to transition the student from the BackPack Program to other resources (i.e. Reduced or Free Lunch Program, Food Stamps, Food Pantries, etc.).

“Along with our wonderful APW staff, who are always very gracious with their giving of food donations, money and precious time, we have had some community involvement that needs mentioning,” said School Lunch Manager Bonnie Horning.

The local United Methodist Church in Parish was kind enough to host an Italian feast in October, which featured salads, desserts and pastas.

Altogether, $1300 was raised to benefit APW’s BackPack Program.

The school would like to recognize Pulaski and Williamstown libraries for putting out food collection boxes and the Clay Price Chopper for offering grocery cart collections. The Parish Library will also have a collection box on display for the month of November.

Other donations have included: a $100 gift card from Tops in Pulaski, a $25 gift card from Nice N Easy and a $200 gift card from Wegmans in North Syracuse.

The Central Square Wal-Mart is also running a donation campaign for the BackPack Program in its store through November 23.

In addition, the Clubhouse Tavern of Oswego will be presenting a night of drinks and dancing with Brass Inc., a high-energy nine-piece horn band from North Syracuse, at the American Foundry in Oswego on November 25.

Guests are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the event that will be donated to the APW BackPack Program.

The event will take place from 7-11 p.m. and all proceeds are to benefit community needs supported by the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

Admission is $10 and pre-sale tickets are available at the river’s end bookstore and the Clubhouse Tavern in Oswego.

Most weeks, the BackPack Program at APW is stuffing backpacks with food for approximately 75 families, serving 193 children three meals a day, a ballpark figure of about $250 a week.

The APW BackPack Program Committee and the District would like to thank all of those involved with making the program a success.

“We continue to ask everyone to give until it hurts so that the kids’ bellies do not,” said Horning.

Those who would like to get involved may leave food donations with Horning at the APW High School, located at 639 County Route 22, Parish.

For more information, please contact Horning at (315) 625-5227, or Anita Murphy, APW Superintendent of Schools, at (315) 625-5251.