MASSENA — It’s later than usual because of the impact of the coronavirus, but Back the Pack is ready to begin its deliveries to Massena schools this week.
The deliveries of healthy weekend snacks normally start the second or third week in September. But COVID-19 changed that schedule this year since Massena’s students began the school year with complete remote learning. The snacks are delivered to children in Massena’s elementary schools. The group also works with some students at J.W. Leary Junior High School.
Now that all students have returned, it’s back to packing the snacks again and getting ready for their only fundraiser of the year — their 10th annual spaghetti dinner, Chair Julianne Paquin said. The first snack pack delivery is scheduled for Tuesday. She said that allows them to accommodate students who are on hybrid schedules of Tuesday and Thursday and Wednesday and Friday.
“They will be there, so they can distribute it,” she said. “We’re ready to go.”
They had originally placed their order with the Food Bank of Central New York in preparation for the Sept. 8 opening of school. But, that plan was put on hold until schools reopened for in-person learning.
Once schools started opening again, Back the Pack received its order on Oct. 6 and 16 members began packing on Oct. 7. Arconic employees also assisted with the packing on Oct. 16 and provided the group with a Community Action Grant. Mrs. Paquin said Arconic employees and Back the Pack volunteers packed 1,344 packs for children in two hours.
With the delivery schedule now set, it’s time to continue their fundraising. Mrs. Paquin said the 10th annual Back the Pack spaghetti dinner will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. But, unlike previous years, this one will be take-out or delivery from the Italian American Club.
“It’s the first time it’s been on a Saturday. This is going to be our only fundraiser this year. In the past we’ve done a fall raffle. We’re not doing that this year because of COVID,” she said.
The dinner is $8, and includes spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread and dessert.