Summer Backpack Blessings in Geneseo

Claudia Loucks

Food packages for both Geneseo’s Backpack Blessings program and “The Lunch Box” program will be available through Friday, Aug. 12, at the Geneseo Community Center, 541 East North St. Entrance to both sites should be made through the door on the west side of the building.

The Lunch Box program provides lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, through Aug. 12 at the Geneseo Community Center. Lunch Box meals are to be eaten at the site.

The Backpack Blessings program distributes a storage bag of food from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays only, through Friday, Aug. 12, also at the west entrance of the Community Center. Backpack Blessings volunteers will be near the Lunch Box volunteers on Fridays of each week, with weekend meals for area children.

Both “The Lunch Box” and Backpack Blessings were distributed from the student parking lot at Geneseo High School last summer.

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 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.

Sharon Carton, director of Geneseo’s Backpack Blessings program, is shown holding one of the food packages on the west side of the Geneseo Community Center, 541 East North St., which is the summer distribution site for Backpack Blessings, also the site for the summer “Lunch Box” program, which provides lunches for young people in the Geneseo and surrounding communities.