10th Annual “Fill the Backpack” fundraiser for FeedMore WNY is back at Wegmans

DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) — For the 10th year, the Fill the Backpack campaign is back on the shelves of Wegmans, helping inspire customers to donate toward FeedMore Western New York’s BackPack Program.

“We are so grateful for the continued partnership with News 4 and Wegmans. They really make it easy for people to give back during this ‘Fill the Backpack’ Campaign,” Catherine Shick, FeedMore Western New York’s public relations manager, said. “All you have to do is make that donation when you’re shopping at Wegmans, and we are really grateful for any amount you can give.”

During the campaign, customers are asked if they would like to donate $3, $5, $10 or any amount they can towards the cause. $5 creates a bag full of food that will be placed into a child’s backpack.

“When you hear about kids going home from school on a Friday and hear about them being hungry on the weekend and not having nutritious food until they come back to school on Monday, it’s one of those things where we knew we had to do something,” Michele Mehaffy, a spokesperson for Wegmans, said. “We know that western New York is so generous and loves to donate to children. They love to donate to causes that are critical to the community. This is one of those programs.”

Last year, FeedMore WNY’s BackPack Program assisted around 7,400 students throughout 80 schools and summer feeding programs in western New York. Over the campaign’s past 10 years, the community has help donated enough money to fill more than 230,000 backpacks with food.

According to FeedMore, one in five children in western New York may be food insecure.

“Unfortunately we know that food insecurity overall is really, really high right now here in western New York,” Shick said. “So many families are struggling to make ends meet and programs like the backpack program really help relieve that stress of where my child’s next meal is going to come from.”

The Fill the Backpack campaign runs June 5 through June 19. For more information on FeedMore’s backpack program, click here.

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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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