American Eagle Financial Credit Union awarded a $5,000 grant to the New Covenant United Methodist Church (NCUMC) and East Hartford Public Schools Backpackers Food Program. The grant was made through the Credit Union’s Donor-advised Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The Backpackers Food Program started in 2006 and currently serves about 50 children per week across the 15 public schools in East Hartford. The grant from American Eagle will cover approximately 85% of the cost to purchase food for one year of the program. Employees from Sodexo volunteer to prepare the backpacks, which are distributed weekly through the schools.
The program is a collaboration among the East Hartford Public Schools, Sodexo Food Service, NCUMC, and Foodshare. The East Hartford Hunger Action Team provides oversight, promotion, and fundraising assistance for the backpack program. The team comprises individuals from the business, school, faith, and nonprofit community.
Pictured with backpacks filled with donated food are, left to right: Cheryl Ross, branch manager, American Eagle Financial Credit Union; Shirley Harrison, caterer, Sodexo Food Service; Shari Staeb, general manager, Sodexo Food Service; and Vanessa Hernandez Rivera, kitchen manager, Sodexo Food Service.