Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
Because One Hungry Neighbor
Is ONE Too Many.

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THE BACKPACK PROGRAM

Filling the Gap So Children Won't Go Hungry Over Weekends

We believe that no child should ever go hungry. Yet, many children who receive free and reduced priced school meals are left without the nutrition they need on weekends and holiday breaks when school is not in session. By providing children who are at risk of hunger with a bag of nutritious food each Friday throughout the school year, the BackPack Program� attempts to reduce this gap and help children return to school on Monday ready to learn. 

Started as a pilot program with 3 sites in 2005, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier's BackPack Program originally has expanded into 26 sites throughout our six county service area.

The BackPack Program requires very specific, kid-friendly foods!

  • Kid-friendly
  • Nutritious
  • Individually packaged
  • Small and light enough to carry
  • Shelf stable
  • Easy to prepare - even without a stove (or in some cases a can opener)
  • Not going to break (no glass jars)
  • Each pack contains at least 8 items: 2 Proteins, 2 Grains, 2 Dairy & 2 Fruits or Vegetables

You can Help. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Volunteer to help repack donated items into the packs for distribution.
2. Donate money to help sustain the BackPack Program�, or help expand the program to more children.
3. Host a food drive with your group to collect items from our Wish List. Click here to download a copy.

During the 2012-2013 school year, the BackPack Program served 33 school districts in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties. 2,075 children received packs each week. A total of 73,872 packs were distributed.

Our goal is to expand the BackPack Program� to all 41 school districts in our six county service area.

Click here to download a BackPack Program� fact sheet.

Jennifer Edger, Community Programs Manager
at 607.796.6061 x4037 or email


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388 Upper Oakwood Ave. | Elmira, NY 14903 | 607-796-6061 A regional agency of Catholic Charities and a member of Feeding America