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BC Backpack Program needs your help!

Filed in Archive by on February 13, 2018

words: weekend meals for kids

In 2017, the Bethlehem Central High School Student Senate introduced a weekend Backpack Program to help address food insecurity for students in grades K-5. The program serves more than 60 families in the Bethlehem Central School District each week. In order for the BC Backpack Program to thrive, the student-run effort needs your help. Please read the following information and share with friends, neighbors, businesses and community organizations who may be able to lend some assistance.

What is the BC Backpack Program?

The Bethlehem Central High School Student Senate is sponsoring a districtwide effort to address food insecurity and food shortages affecting some of our students through a weekend backpack food program. The program is intended to supplement food resources for affected students when school is not in session, focusing on weekends, holidays and school breaks.

Backpacks are filled by staff and student volunteers every Friday (and before breaks) and contain nonperishable, individually-portioned nutritious foods. They are distributed discreetly to participating students at their schools. 

Those students most likely to be hungry on the weekend are identified by school counselors, social workers, teachers, school nurses, and principals. Permission to participate in the program must be given by the child’s parent or guardian.

The need is everywhere

The school district has seen an increase in the need for food assistance in recent years and is aware that a number of students – in elementary, middle school and high school – are experiencing some form of food insecurity.

Research has shown that students who are not hungry attend school more regularly, have improved academic achievement, and have fewer disciplinary issues at school.

Members of the Student Senate need community support for their efforts to succeed. You can help them by sharing information about this ongoing program.

How you can help – DONATE NOW

There is a need for ongoing donations of specific backpack food and personal hygiene items (see list below), as well a need for monetary donations to shop for outstanding items and backpacks. The cost of a weekend’s backpack food supplies is estimated at $5 to $6 per student, per week.

Checks for monetary donations can be made out to:

BCHS Student Senate, c/o Bethlehem Central High School
700 Delaware Ave
Delmar, NY 12054

All other items can be dropped off at the front entrance to the high school.

  • Granola and/or breakfast bars
  • Cereal boxes (single-serve boxes)
  • Instant oatmeal packets or microwavable cups
  • 100% Juice boxes
  • Water bottles
  • Mac & Cheese (single-serve microwavable packets)
  • Chef Boyardee or canned ravioli, pasta, SpaghettiOs, meatballs
  • Canned tuna or chicken
  • Ramen noodles
  • Peanut butter. plastic containers
  • Jelly, plastic containers
  • Cookies/crackers (single-serve, including peanut butter sandwich crackers)
  • Fruit cups
  • Pudding cups
  • Fruit snacks & Rice Krispie treats
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Sanitary napkins and tampons

Please share this information with friends, neighbors, businesses and community organizations in the Bethlehem Central School District. If you have any questions regarding the BC Backpack Program or about donating, please contact BCHS Student Senate Advisor A.G. Irons at airons@bcsd.neric.org or at 518-439-4921.

View or download a copy of the BC Backpack Program brochure.