Summer Backpack Blessings begins July 7

Claudia Loucks
Sharon Carton, director of Geneseo’s Backpack Blessings program, is shown holding one of the food packages in the student parking lot at Geneseo High School, the summer distribution site for Backpack Blessings, which also is the pickup point for the summer “Lunch Box” program, which provides lunches for young people in the Geneseo and surrounding communities.

Food packages for both Geneseo’s Backpack Blessings program and “The Lunch Box” program will be distributed from the shelter at the tennis courts in the student parking lot at Geneseo High School.

Even though the distribution site may change for Backpack Blessings, the goal of the program remains the same…”To provide tasteful, nutritious meals for children in the Geneseo School District who live in food insecure households, or for those without consistent access to food.”

During the school year, the storage bag of enough food for the weekend is discreetly placed in the child’s backpack on the last day of school each week by school staff.

The program continues this summer in coordination with the Lunch Box program.

Backpack Blessings volunteers will be near the Lunch Box volunteers at the Geneseo High School tennis courts, 700 North State St., from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays of each week, with weekend meals for area children.

The Backpack program is a mission of First United Methodist Church, Geneseo, although volunteers from throughout the community have stepped forward to help.

To ensure student privacy; the Backpack Blessings group works with the school district’s social workers to connect the bags of food to students in need.