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WCSD Backpack Program Becomes Food Pantry

 Major Morgan Stanley Foundation grant turns WCSD backpack program into a food pantry.
 WCSD Food Pantry Morgan Stanley

Watertown City School District recently received $5,000 in food through a $50,000 grant to the Food Bank of CNY awarded by the Morgan Stanley Foundation. On hand for the delivery were, left to right, Robert Gorman, CEO of the United Way of NNY, Patricia LaBarr, assistant superintendent for instruction for the school district, Jeffrey Barnard, Financial Advisor for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Watertown, and Christopher Smith, agency relations coordinator of the Food Bank of CNY.

 A $50,000 grant from the Morgan Stanley Foundation to Food Bank of Central New York has transformed the backpack program of the Watertown City School District into a pantry that serves students and their families.

Started as a partnership of the United Way of NNY, the school district and the City of Watertown, the backpack program has since been rechristened “Food 4 Families Pantry,” and is now the first in-school pantry created by the Food Bank of CNY in the 11 counties it serves.

The Food Bank recently added $5,000 worth of food to the United Way off NNY’s account for the program, and installed shelving at the district’s Massey Street building for inventory management and added carts and work tables to make sorting easier.

 The United Way of NNY began a partnership with Food Bank of CNY last summer to help the district buy nutritious food on-line for a reduced price, and have it delivered directly to the district. Previously, school administrators were driving in their own vehicles to area grocery stores to buy food.

 The program’s success over the last seven months prompted the Food Bank to expand its service to WCSD.