Back­Pack pro­gram ad­dresses hunger at Goff Mid­dle School

The Record (Troy, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - Record staff

EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. >> Do you know where your next meal will come from?

For more than a dozen stu­dents at Howard L. Goff Mid­dle School, the answer to that question on a Fri­day af­ter­noon used to be “no.” Now, thanks to a new Back­Pack Pro­gram at the school, the answer is “yes.”

The school has part­nered with the Re­gional Food Bank of North­east­ern New York to sup­ply 15 stu­dents iden­ti­fied by school staff as sus­cep­ti­ble to hunger with break­fast and lunch on week­ends. Each stu­dent will be given a back­pack full of food ev­ery Fri­day, which is meant to fill the gap of stu­dents not be­ing at school to re­ceive their free break­fast and lunch.

“The Back­Pack Pro­gram pro­vides the nec­es­sary nu­tri­tion needs over the week­ends and breaks for stu­dents that would oth­er­wise be left hun­gry and with ei­ther lim­ited or no food,” Goff So­cial Worker Jamie Eg­gle­ston said. “As a re­sult of this pro­gram, these stu­dents will be phys­i­cally and men­tally pre­pared to learn on Mon­day morn­ing. I am hope­ful that this pro­gram will pos­i­tively im­pact stu­dents’ so­cial-emo­tional well­ness, aca­demic be­hav­iors, at­ten­dance and fo­cus.”

The Back­Pack Pro­gram, which started this past week­end, helps al­le­vi­ate child hunger by dis­creetly pro­vid­ing hun­gry chil­dren with back­packs full of nu­tri­tious and easy-to-pre­pare food on Fri­day af­ter­noons so they have food to eat through­out the week­end and dur­ing school breaks.

The first round of back­packs were stuffed with bread, pasta, ap­ples, soup, ce­real, tuna fish, beef jerky and Ste­wart’s Shops gift cer­tifi­cates for a gal­lon of milk and a dozen eggs.

The pro­gram has been funded through the rest of this school year and into part of the 201920 school year thanks to gen­er­ous dona­tions from Goff teach­ers and staff and lo­cal busi­nesses, in­clud­ing Pae­san’s Pizza and Res­tau­rant. Hav­ing the part­ner­ship with the Re­gional Food Bank, it costs ap­prox­i­mately $4.50 a week to pro­vide each stu­dent in the Back­Pack Pro­gram with break­fast and lunch over the week­end.

The East Greenbush Cen­tral School Dis­trict will have a school bus pick up the food from the Re­gional Food Bank each week and de­liver it to Goff Mid­dle School where it will be sorted into back­packs.

“This is an ex­cit­ing time for Goff Mid­dle School and our stu­dents,” Prin­ci­pal Wayne Grignon said. “This part­ner­ship with the Re­gional Food Bank will al­low us to en­sure that some of our stu­dents’ nu­tri­tional needs are be­ing met when they are not with us at Goff. We hope to con­tinue the pro­gram in­def­i­nitely and are al­ways look­ing for ad­di­tional busi­nesses to part­ner with to grow the pro­gram. I would be re­miss if I did not thank Mr. Eg­gle­ston for help­ing to es­tab­lish the pro­gram for the Goff com­mu­nity and Mrs. Lopez for reach­ing out to a lo­cal busi­ness.”

If you would like to donate to the Back­Pack Pro­gram, you can visit the Re­gional Food Bank of North­east­ern New York web­site, se­lect “Back­Pack Pro­gram” from the drop down menu and in­di­cate the gift should be ded­i­cated to “Howard L. Goff.”

You can also donate by check to Re­gional Food Bank of North­east­ern New York at 965 Al­banyShaker Road, Latham, New York 12110. Write “Back­Pack Pro­gram – Howard L. Goff” in the memo line.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Goff Mid­dle School’s Back­Pack pro­gram.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Goff Mid­dle School’s Back­Pack pro­gram.

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