Lackawanna Charter School Fights Childhood Hunger

October 15, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2010 at 6:28 PM EDT

By ED REILLY

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October 15, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2010 at 6:28 PM EDT

The Global Concepts Charter School in Lackawanna has teamed up with the Food Bank of Western New York to be part of a national BackPack food program. On Fridays, children from needy families are given a backpack with three non-perishable meal packages and two perishable fruits. The backpacks are refilled when the children return them on Monday.

During the school week, children from poor families can take part in free and reduced lunch programs. However, they often don't eat properly during weekends - mostly due to their families inability to buy food. Childhood hunger can have a profound impact in the classroom. Hungry students aren't able to concentrate, feel sleepy, and are more prone to illnesses like colds and ear infections.

Global Concepts Charter School is the first in Western New York to offer the program. Donations and grants from Wegmans, Pepsi, Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, and the SEFCU Credit Union are paying for the $60,000 BackPack program.

The Food Bank of Western New York says they hope to expand the BackPack program to include more students and more schools.