Thanks to two New Canaan women, low-income middle schoolers at Trailblazers Academy in Stamford, will have healthy snacks every weekend of the school year coming to them in backpacks.
Shawnee Knight said "We basically provide children on free or reduced lunch with backpacks for the 38 weeks of the school for three years."
Shawnee Knight and Tina Kramer started the local chapter of the national organization Blessings in a Backpack in May, to give local kids healthy snack options when they may not have the means to get them themselves.
The food-filled backpacks are sent home every Friday with the kids so they have nutritional options for the weekend.
Tina Kramer said "We know there is hunger just right next door and Trailblazers was the perfect place for us because these are kids that have been through a lot."
Residents lent a hand Tuesday afternoon
, filling the backpacks with snacks suggested by ShopRite's dietician
Knight said "It's 1 in 5 children who do not know where their next meal is coming from. It's 36 million kids in the US who need food. If you just help them with that one small obstacle, they will have better test scores, get better grades and have better attendance."
The women hope to not only help those at Trailblazers Academy but other children in need around Stamford.
Knight added "There was 145 in the school that are on the free or reduce lunch that needed food and it's hard to say no to that. So we figured we just raise more money and work harder and we'd like to have all of them participating in the program. We also want to get other schools involved, branch out to other towns and just get bigger."