One in five area students do not know where their next meal is coming from.
That’s why three 2012 Jefferson Leadership Institute (JLI) students have created the School Snack Cupboard Program.
According to Diane Leonard, an organizer of the event, while low-income children in school are provided with reduce price or free breakfast and lunches during the school day, there is no provision by the school district for snack for these children during scheduled classroom snack time.
Thousand Islands, Sackets Harbor, Watertown and General Brown school districts will all receive donations from the School Snack Cupboard Program.
The program launched Friday afternoon at Price Chopper in Watertown. Thanks to donations received prior to the event, and from Price Chopper, over $1,900 worth of healthy prepackage snacks were able to be purchased.
Leonard says that the local need for the Snack Cupboard Program is staggering when you also consider that:
- 20.4% of youth in Jefferson County under the age of 17 years are living in poverty;
- 47.8% of youth K-6 in Jefferson County are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches; and
- Currently, these children are either without snack, or their snack is being provided personally by their teacher or other parents of children in the classroom.
The collections will not stop with the event at Price Chopper according to Leonard.
Anyone in the community that is interested in donating to the School Snack Cupboard Program can contact Leonard at 315-285-5194.
The School Snack Cupboard project was supported by Froggy 97, Price Chopper, Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes, Casktinette’s Lofink Ford, and DH Leonard Consulting.
For more information and to hear from Diane Leonard about the program, watch the complete video story.