OSWEGO – “Blast Hunger,” the sixth annual joint fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack, will take place March 9 at the Elks Lodge in Oswego.
The Oswego and Fulton programs that provide weekend food for needy schoolchildren will offer an assortment of 40 craftspeople and vendors at the event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will also be chicken tenders luncheons for pickup, baskets for raffle, 50/50 and a bake sale.
The chicken tenders luncheons, including macaroni and cheese and tossed salad, are available by presale ticket only.
For tickets, $10 each, please call 315-297-7802.
Deliveries can be made on orders totaling more than 10 luncheons.
All “Blast Hunger” proceeds go to feed hungry bellies in the two cities.
In its six years locally, Blessings in a Backpack has met with a tremendous response from the community, said Melissa Russell, program coordinator for Oswego.
“There is such a need, and people are glad that there is a way they can help,” Russell said. “Thanks to many, many contributors, we have been able to continue to serve a growing number of children.”
The “Blast” fundraisers have been popular, with hundreds of people walking through to browse the tables full of crafts and merchandise from vendors, take a chance on the baskets, and pick up their meals, Russell added.
“We’re hoping for another hugely successful event on March 9,” she said.
Blessings in a Backpack is a national organization with a mission of helping to end childhood hunger.
Each week, shelf-stable, easy-to-prepare food is sent home to students who are on the free or reduced-price lunch program.
“In Oswego this year we are feeding 300 students across five elementary schools plus the high school,” Russell said. “And, in Fulton about 200 students benefit from BIB.”
“With the help of this fundraiser, individual, corporate and foundation donations and our fall ‘Count Your Blessings’ Trivia Night, hundreds of students in these school districts don’t have to worry about what they will eat on the weekend during the school year,” she said.
BiB began in the cities of Oswego and Fulton in 2013.
Two churches from Oswego — the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection and Grace Lutheran — and Prince of Peace in Fulton decided to partner up to help feed hungry students.
This “Blast” event has been the main fundraiser for the BiB chapters from Oswego and Fulton for the past five years.
“Although Oswego and Fulton are now two separate chapters, we are thrilled to still raise funds together at the ‘Blast.’ We began with 50 students total, 25 in each city, and have grown tremendously,” said Russell.
Only $80 feeds a student for the whole 38-week school year, just $2.10 per week.
To order a lunch, or for more information on Blessings in a Backpack, please call Russell at 315-297-7802.