SACKETS HARBOR — Now in its sixth generation on the farm, the Robbins family has been farming in Sackets Harbor since the early 1900s. The family owns Old McDonald’s Farm, Robbins Family Grain and North Harbor Dairy, all located at 14471 County Route 145.
While the businesses, a popular agri-tourism destination, a 7,000-acre crop operation, and a 1,200-cow dairy farm, respectively, are each separate entities, they are all rooted in the community.
To that end, this week, the Robbins family decided to donate ground beef and cheese sticks, made at Great Lakes Cheese, to the backpack program at Sackets Harbor Central School to help feed families in need.
According to school Superintendent Jennifer Gaffney, a total of 44 bags were sent out Friday, which will feed about 22 families.
“The program is incredibly important to the community,” she said. “You can see over the last handful of years the program has expanded across the county and state, helping families sustain their food supply over the weekend; a little extra help so they can use their dollars in other ways.”
The backpacks usually feature solely nonperishable goods each week, as well as bread on a weekly basis, so the beef was a brand new item in the bags.
According to Ms. Gaffney, the school has had a number of donations from private individuals to the backpack program, like fresh produce from Agbotic.
This was not the first time the Robbins family had donated to the school. This past fall they hosted a fundraiser gala at their gathering barn/events center that raised a significant amount of money for the backpack program, Ms. Gaffney said.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the community during this pandemic,” she said. “We’ve received food and monetary donations and all of that has gone back into the program to sustain and expand it; we are so thankful and blessed to work with these people in our school community.”