Restaurant Week backs the Back Pack food program

To the editor:

The Saranac Lake Central School District would like to thank the entire community for their ongoing and generous support of the students in our district. Recently, Community Bank sponsored a food drive in conjunction with the Eat ADK Restaurant Week committee in an effort to collect food items and monetary donations that directly support our district’s Back Pack food program and 3rd Meal program.

According to certain statistics, as many as 21.8% of the children in our communities are considered “food insecure.” It is likely that the number is even more than that. The Back Pack food program is designed to provide certain students with food items that they can bring home over the weekend when they are unable to access the school meal program. In most cases, food items are also provided during holiday and vacation break periods. Along those same lines, many of our students who participate in after-school activities may not have access to a meal until very late in the evening due to rehearsals, practices, performances and games. The 3rd Meal program provides a healthy meal to any student in the high school or middle school to take with them at dismissal, so they have something to eat at the end of the day.

The generous support of our community is what helps the district make these meal programs available to so many of our students. Accordingly, the district would like to offer specific thanks to the following organizations for their efforts to plan, organize, sponsor and carry out the food drive:

¯ Community Bank (sponsor)

¯ Adirondack Daily Enterprise

¯ Eat ADK Restaurant Committee

¯ The Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce

¯ BluSeed Studios

¯ ROOST

¯ Kinney Drugs

¯ Tops Market

¯ The Adirondack Artists Guild.

Additionally, we would like to thank the following organizations for their significant contributions of food and cash to support the program:

¯ Rotary Club of Saranac Lake

¯ Kiwanis Club of Saranac Lake

¯ BluSeed Studios.

Once again, our communities have rallied to support our students in this worthiest of causes. As a school community, we are both grateful and humbled by the outpouring of generosity and support for this food drive. We are hopeful, through events and donations like these, that we will be able to expand our programs to include more students and cover additional times throughout the year. On behalf of our students and school community, we offer our most sincere thanks to all who participate, donated and helped to make this event so successful.

Bruce VanWeelden,

Principal, Bloomingdale Elementary School, Saranac Lake Central School District

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