‘Blast Hunger’ March 7 at Oswego Elks Lodge

Visitors pore over the baskets at last year’s “Blast Hunger” fundraiser for the Oswego and Fulton Blessings in a Backpack programs. This year’s event -- includes pulled pork luncheons for pickup, baskets for raffle, 50/50, and a bake sale -- will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at the Oswego Elks Lodge. Baskets will be raffled off at 3 p.m. Proceeds feed hundreds of hungry students in the two school districts.

OSWEGO - The seventh annual Blessings in a Backpack (BiB) “Blast Hunger” joint fundraiser is set for Saturday, March 7, at the Elks Lodge in Oswego.

The Oswego and Fulton programs that provide weekend food for hundreds of school children will offer an assortment of crafts people and vendors at the event from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The event also includes pulled pork luncheons for pickup, baskets for raffle, 50/50, and a bake sale. Baskets will be raffled off beginning at 3 p.m.

The pulled pork luncheons, including salt potatoes and cole slaw, are available by presale ticket, $10 each, or $12 the day of the event. Presale orders must be picked up by 2 p.m. For presale tickets, call 315-297-7802. Deliveries can be made on orders totaling more than 10 luncheons.

All “Blast Hunger” proceeds go to feed the hungry in the two cities.

Blessings in a Backpack has met with a huge response from the community in its seven years locally, said Melissa Russell, program coordinator for Oswego. “When they hear about the need among our schoolchildren, people are incredibly generous and supportive,” she said.

“With the help of this fundraiser, individual, corporate and foundation donations, and our fall ‘Count Your Blessings’ Trivia Night, hundreds of students in our two school districts don’t have to worry about what they will eat on the weekend during the school year,” she said.

In Oswego this year the program feeds 400 students across five elementary schools plus the middle school and high school, and in Fulton about 200 students benefit from the program.

The “Blast” fundraisers have been popular, with hundreds of people walking through to browse the tables full of crafts and merchandise from vendors, take a chance on the baskets, and pick up their meals, Russell noted.

The “Blast” event has been the main fundraiser for the BiB chapters from Oswego and Fulton for the past six years.

Blessings in a Backpack is a national organization with a mission of helping to end childhood hunger. Each week, shelf-stable, easy-to-prepare food is sent home to students who are on the free or reduced-price lunch program.

BiB began in the cities of Oswego and Fulton in 2013. Two churches from Oswego — the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection and Grace Lutheran — and Prince of Peace in Fulton decided to partner up to help feed hungry students. “We began with 50 students total, 25 in each city, and have grown tremendously,” said Russell.

To order a lunch, or for more information on Blessings in a Backpack, call Russell at 315-297-7802.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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