The Rotary Club of Springfield Vermont has established a Weekend Backpack Program to help fight child hunger in Springfield.
According to Springfield Rotary Club President Karen Longo, 1 in 7 children are considered food insecure in Vermont. The most at-risk children for food insecurity are also the ones who are most affected by the achievement gap, and poor academic and athletic outcomes that can have lifelong effects.
 “Currently some of the children attending the YMCA summer camp rely on the food program for most of their nutrition during the week,” Longo explained, “These supports do not exist over the weekend, so the Rotary Club of Springfield initiated the Weekend Backpack Program for campers.”
“The Rotary Club prepares backpacks filled with high protein, low sugar foods every Thursday evening and delivers them to the camp on Friday mornings,” Longo said, “The backpacks are sent home discreetly with the campers on Fridays to ensure they are well fed over the weekend and can come in Monday mornings, ready to hike, swim and learn.”
During the first week of the program, 27 backpacks were distributed that contained water, fruits, a jar of peanut butter, crackers, veggie sticks, cheese crackers, noodles, fruit snacks, smart popcorn, carrots, pudding, hand sanitizer and utensils.
The Springfield Rotary club will continue to support the Weekend Backpack program for 8 weeks until the end of August.
Photo: Delivering for Springfield Rotary Club Weekend Backpack Program (l-r) Karen Longo, Sue Dana, Liz Carey, and Sue Dowdell
The Rotary Club of Springfield, founded in 1927, is an active community service club of more than 40 members who engage in community and human service projects both locally and internationally.