The Guilderland Lettermen Foundation is pleased to announce that it will, once again, partner with the Guilderland High School Weekend Backpack program.
The Letterman Foundation is making a $1,000 donation to support the purchase of food and supplies for the program that provides students in need with nutritional foods to sustain them on weekends throughout the school-year.
It’s the third straight year the Foundation has collaborated with the Weekend Backpack Program.
“While the primary function of the Lettermen Foundation is to honor exemplary student-athletes though our Lettermen awards program, when we heard about the Backpack program, we really wanted to get involved,” said Mark Williams, Foundation president and a 1982 Guilderland graduate. “Sometimes it is hard to see the level of need in our community, but it’s real. We are so pleased to be able to work with the Backpack program to help make a difference for students who need the assistance.”
Guilderland’s Weekend Backpack program was developed by Guilderland business teacher Joan McGrath and social worker Heidi Cutler, and through Lettermen support, is a member of the Regional Food Bank’s weekly Backpack program, which has a stated goal to “help alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with backpacks full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons so they have food to eat throughout the weekend. Partnership with the Regional Food Bank allows the Guilderland program access to reduced-price volume purchases of the food and supplies it requires to meet student needs.
“We are grateful to the Lettermen Foundation for understanding the importance of our program and how it impacts many students at Guilderland High School,” Ms. McGrath said. “Through partnership with the Regional Food Bank, our local Guilderland Food Pantry and the generosity of the community, we are able to provide this vital service that ensures food security for our students during the weekends.”
Over the past year the Backpack Program has provided in excess of 2000 weekend meals for students supported by the program. In addition, students involved in the GHS School-to-Work program have volunteered in excess of 500 hours in support of the initiative. These students help to inventory and organize the donations and pack the backpacks each week. Further, volunteer efforts have been provided by a host of community members who donate their time to pick-up and drop-off food on a weekly basis.
“Clearly the Weekend Backpack Program is a community-wide effort,” said Heidi Cutler. “The program benefits the youth within our community at the most basic level and so many people have supported this effort through the generosity of their time, as well as food and monetary donations.” Individuals who wish to donate or volunteer can do so by contacting either Joan McGrath or Heidi Cutler at Guilderland High School, 8 School Road, Guilderland Center, NY 12085, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or by phone at 518-861-8591.
In addition to the Weekend Backpack program, the Guilderland Lettermen Foundation also supports its annual awards program, which recognizes multi-sport Guilderland High School student athletes, who are also active in the community. In the Foundation’s 22 years, nearly $100,000 in awards have been presented.
Photo caption: Greg Barcomb, Vice President, Guilderland Lettermen Foundation, Heidi Cutler, Guilderland Schools Social Worker, Tom Passineau, Treasurer, Guilderland Lettermen Foundation, Joan McGrath, Guilderland High School Business Teacher, and Mark Williams, President, Guilderland Lettermen Foundation