Wednesday 7 December 2022
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Syracuse City School District Expands “Blessings in a Backpack” Program

By Staff –


blessingsThe Syracuse City School District has expanded its “Blessings in a Backpack” program, which provides students with nutritious meals outside of school, to three new schools.

The program began at Delaware Primary and Delaware Academy in the 2016-17 school year, and has expanded to Seymour, Franklin and Dr. King.

Each school has partnered with a community agency – Bellevue Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Bishop Grimes and Centro – that provides a weekly delivery of nutritious items to students with the highest need.

“It’s truly been a blessing to have this program in our school,” Delaware social worker Mayra Arocho-Bague stated. “A lot of families have been made very happy. We distribute the bags on Friday, and on Monday, the students will remind me that they’d like a bag again that weekend. It’s something they look forward to, and it helps our students feel good as they go home, knowing that they have something nutritious to eat, regardless of what their situation may be. We’re hoping that we can continue adding more students to the program, because it’s been such a nice thing for our school.”

The program currently serves about 200 students at Delaware, who have been selected for the voluntary program based on need.

Each student receives a bag each week and before holiday breaks.

The bags will be distributed to all students at Dr. King by rotating distribution to classrooms throughout the school year.

“Syracuse has among the highest concentration of poverty in the nation, and many of our students come from these high-poverty neighborhoods,” Dr. King’s principal, Andrea Ellis-Smith, stated. “This program will assist our families by providing nutritious food over the weekend. We look forward to our new partnership with Centro as it will assist in the development of the whole child.”

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