OSWEGO – Oswego’s Blessings in a Backpack program has received a $1,000 grant from Stewart’s Shops in support of the community organization’s work feeding needy children in Oswego’s five elementary schools over weekends and school breaks.
The grant comes from Stewart’s Holiday Match program, in which the business collects and matches donations from its customers from Thanksgiving to Christmas each year.
This is the second time Stewart’s has donated to the Oswego program, according to BiB co-coordinators Melissa Russell and Beth Hallinan, both of the Church of the Resurrection.
The Episcopal church at West Fifth and Cayuga streets is the lead sponsor of Blessings in a Backpack in Oswego.
Key partners include Grace Lutheran Church and Faith United Church.
The Oswego program joined recently with its counterpart in Fulton to “Blast Hunger” at Oswego’s Elks Lodge, the program’s largest annual fundraiser.
“This year’s ‘Blast’ was hugely successful,” Russell said. “One of our biggest ever.”
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.
“The generosity of so many people and organizations in this community is inspiring,” Hallinan said. “When people understand that we feed hungry kids, they often are quick to recognize the need and contribute.”
Oswego’s Blessings in a Backpack program has grown to feed more and more children locally, from 25 when it began five years ago to 250 this year.
It costs $80 to feed a student during weekends and school breaks throughout the 38-week school year, just $2.10 per week.
For more information about the Oswego program, see resoswego.org/missions-ministries.