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Back Pack Program will set up in Dundee

DUNDEE—The Weekend Back Pack Program is expanding again and starting in March Dundee will have a satellite location of the program that helps feed children.
The Dundee Youth Center will be used on Wednesdays as a location to pack food for Dundee Central School children to take home over the weekend.  The program, started in Penn Yan at Mill’s Food Pantry, gives children food for when their families may not be able to provide it.
The Back Pack program started helping Dundee students in October, 2008.  Donations, both food and monetary, are how the packs of food are provided each week.  Joan Washburn explained that Milly’s Pantry purchases the food and then will deliver it to the Dundee Youth Center.  Most of the food the pantry purchases comes from Foodlink, which works with food retailers and wholesalers to get food for charity programs.  The program works with a nutritionist to make sure the food given to students fulfill their nutritional needs.
Washburn explained that the Dundee Youth Center was picked because it had available space in the community room to pack food, space to store food, and it is an easy place for people to access.
The Back Pack Program started in the summer of 2007 and provided 90 Penn Yan students food on weekends.  In addition to Penn Yan and Dundee students, the program now also provides food to both community’s Head Start programs and the Keuka Lake School.  Washburn said the program currently help feed around 250 Dundee students each weekend.  George Schaeffer, treasurer for the program, has said that the program helps 450 students in all schools.  Schaeffer said they could grow to feeding more than 600 area students.
Just like in Penn Yan, volunteers will be needed in Dundee to pack the bags for children Wednesday afternoons starting at 5 p.m. when school is in session.  Anyone interested in volunteering at the Dundee Youth Center can call Beth Taylor at the Youth Center at 607-243-9171, anytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  She can also be e-mailed at
For more information about the Back Pack program, call 315-536-0007, 315-536-8190 or

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