HG Realtor Foundation’s Donation Helps Fund Food Bank’s BackPack Program

Mary Prenon | April 2017

The HG Realtor Foundation Committee volunteers at the Food Bank for Westchester’s warehouse.

ELMSFORD—The Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation’s $5,000 donation last year to the Food Bank for Westchester helped supply funding for the Elmsford-based charity’s BackPack Program, designed to help alleviate child hunger. Created in 2009, the program provides Westchester’s at-risk children with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food for weekends and school vacations.

Members of the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation Committee recently volunteered at the Food Bank warehouse to assist in the packing of food bags for backpacks distributed to various schools and community centers throughout Westchester County.

Last year, the BackPack Program served 3,769 Westchester children each month with family-friendly foods such as soups, macaroni and cheese, cereals, pancake mix, applesauce, raisins and other non-perishable foods. “Sometimes, this is the only food they’re getting over the weekends,” said Tamar Jacobson, manager of corporate engagement and events for the Food Bank of Westchester. “We pack about six pounds of food in each backpack.”

Children who qualify for free school lunches and snacks will also qualify for this program, which is income-restricted. Because the Food Bank orders in large quantities and also receives food donations, their average cost of food for the backpack is about $1.62.  The BackPack Program receives funding from private donations, Westchester County and Feeding America, a national organization.

“People all over the county are affected,” added Jacobson. “Today about one in five people are struggling with hunger here in Westchester, and about one in three of that group is a child. Most of these people are also working, but they’re spending so much money on rent that they can’t afford food.”

For over 28 years, the Food Bank for Westchester has led the fight against hunger in Westchester County, serving 300 frontline programs that provide food directly to the 200,000 county residents who are hungry or food insecure. Food Bank for Westchester supplies 95 percent of all food distributed annually across the region’s food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and daycare and residential programs – delivering over 8.4 million pounds of food and 7 million meals to people. Food Bank for Westchester’s collaboration with major retailers and corporations, and its expertise in food procurement, storage, and distribution, turns every monetary donation into fresh food provided for our community.

To apply for funding from the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation, please visit www.hgrealtorfoundation.com.


Mary Prenon
HGAR, Director of Communications