Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many students attending Broadview Middle School participated in the “Backpackers Program” of the Connecticut Food Bank. Through this program, students at risk of hunger over the weekends were supplied food that was delivered in prepackaged bags. In addition to this program, Broadview created “The Broadview Boutique” to provide gently used clothing and shoes, recycled gym uniforms, school supplies, and toiletries to students in need.
“We often added to the food bank with donations from teachers and a few others,” says Christine Miller, a social skills counselor at Broadview. “The mother-in-law of one of our behavior analysts is an amazing couponer, and she often contributed to our supplies.”
At the end of last school year, however, the Connecticut Food Bank ended the Backpackers Program and replaced it with an additional mobile pantry on the third Thursday of each month at Rogers Park Middle School.
“We quickly realized that many of our students’ families would not be able to access the mobile pantry for lack of transportation or because of work conflicts,” Miller recalls. “We knew we needed to continue with what we called our ‘Friday food’ but had no idea how to provide for over 20 students every week.” Read more