Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Walkin' the Country To End Childhood Hunger

How much do you think you could buy for just $3? A morning Cafe Latte at Starbucks? Almost one gallon of gas? Not much? Well, Chris Allenger, radio personality of Q Country 103.7, argues that your $3 could go a long away, and that's exactly what he plans to do to prove it.

Starting Monday, September 9th Chris will start walking from The Friedman Wrestling Center at Cornell campus, and plans to continue his walk through all of Tompkins County, close to 100 miles, for the rest of the week in support of the Tompkin's County Food Bank of the Southern Tier. During this weeklong walk, Chris will be pretty easy to spot, because he will be wearing a flag and large backpack, collecting donations to support the Food Bank's Backpack Program. 

The Backpack Program was started in 2005, to provide children who receive either free or reduced price school meals while in school, with extra meals when they are not in school for weekends and breaks. The food provided meets nutritional requirements to ensure these students have nutritionally balanced meals to sustain them when school is not in session. Some of the requirements include; food that is portable, shelf stable, kid friendly, not breakable, and contains the essential nutritional elements of: two proteins, two grains, two dairy and two fruits and vegetables. 

This is a wonderful program that not only gives community members an opportunity to give to those  in need, but to specifically helps the members of our very own Tompkins County community. Just in the past 2011-2012 school year, the Backpack program was successfully able to serve 26 school districts in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins County, serving 1,881 children with 58,523 packs. Best of all, the cost to fill one backpack is just $3. So, for the just the cost of a morning cup of coffee, it is possible for a student of the local community to have nutritious and sustaining meals for an entire weekend. How cool is that?!

So, what to help Chris complete his walk and in the process benefit an awesome program that provides for members of the local community? Come join us on Friday at 3pm in IC Square to welcome Chris as he arrives at IC for one of the last legs of his journey! To help raise money for the Backpack Program, during the course of his entire walk, and as he arrives on campus at IC, he will be collecting donations from people that he passes while walking. Want to be a part of the movement, and personally hand Chris $3 to fill an entire backpack? Want to cheer him on as he finishes his weeklong journey! Be there at 3pm at IC Square! Upon Chris's arrival, he will collect donations and talk on the main stage about his experience with the Backpack Program. After, he will make his finish his final leg of his journey by walking from IC to Wegman's. 

Can't make the event on Friday, but still want to help support Chris and the backpack movement? You can donate $3, $5, or any monetary donation to any retail location on campus. Also, we will be tabling in the Pub during the lunch hour for the rest of week collecting donations, and spreading the word about the Backpack program. Look for our table (it will have backpacks on it, with food items that count as acceptable donations), and ask us any questions you may have about the program or Chris's walk! Another way to help out, is to donate food to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Have food items that qualify as acceptable donations? Wegmans is currently collecting food items to donate to the Backpack Program. Drop off your donations, or pick up some extra items during your weekly shopping trip, and donate them while you are there!

Don't have time this week to be involved with Chris's walk or the Backpack program? Not to worry. We at IC Dining partner with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier through an initiative called the Helping Hands Campaign. Look for signs around campus, and we will keep you updated on any future events, right here on our blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

So hope to see you Friday at 3pm in IC Square to come support Chris of 103.7 Q Country and the Backpack Program!

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