Backpack program provides student meals on weekends

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BETHEL — A new backpack program at Crescent Park Elementary School provides students with food on the weekends. Principal Elaine Ferland said she hopes the program will continue “for years to come.”

Through collaboration with the Bethel District Exchange and Food Pantry, and the local grocery store, students can takes meals home in a backpack on Fridays. Twenty-seven students are using the program.

Ferland said staff members were reading a book about helping families living in poverty and had heard of backpack programs in other schools. Concerned about students who never brought snacks to school and whether they had enough food at home, staff members started making food bags to send home.

“Part of the goal this year at CPS was to communicate and involve families in school more,” Ferland said. “This is something that we can provide for students that will directly impact their well-being.”

The backpacks contain two breakfasts, two main meals and snacks. Community members interested in donating food or money can drop them off at the District Exchange at 16 Church St. and tell them it’s for the backpack program.

Ferland said the program will continue through the end of the year, and begin again next fall.

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The food pantry at Crescent Park School in Bethel provides items to send home in backpacks for students on weekends. (Alison Aloisio/Bethel Citizen)

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