On Wednesday, Aug. 26, The Community Lunch Program for Kids sponsored a BACK2SCHOOL event for children from families enrolled in their program. The event was held at St. Raymond’s Church in Raymondville from 4-7. Due to Covid the event was broken down into four 45 minute time slots with families assigned to a specific 45 slot. This, along with mandatory masks and social distancing, made this a fun, yet safe event for the 178 children and their families.

The Community Lunch Program for Kids was assisted by Employees from Arconic (in Massena) and students from the Youth Philanthropy Council of The Northern New York Community Foundation ( based in Watertown). Both of these programs provided grants to help cover the cost of this event!

All school age children were provided with new socks, sneakers, and underwear. {Any students who did not receive a backpack last year was given a new backpack.} All children in attendance were given three beautiful brand new books compliments of CLPK, Friends of the Norwood Public Library and First Book Market Place. Each student was also given a coupon good for One Happy Meal compliments of Massena McDonalds, a $10 gift certificate to Common Cents Thrift Shop in Norfolk and a $10 gift certificate to Wagner’s Whistle Stop Thrift Shop in Norwood.

A new addition to the BACK2SCHOOL event was the distribution of brand new winter coats and winter boots. Sixty-three winter coats and 13 pairs of winter boots were given out; and CLPK still has an additional 74 coats and 13 pairs of winter boots to distribute during the coming winter.

All families were given a hygiene kit (including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, deodorant and hand sanitizers.) Each family was also given a mini homework supply kit including items such as scissors, glue sticks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, highlighters, dry erase markers, spiral notebooks, and vinyl folders.

The NNCS Key Club, along with the Norwood Kiwanis Club provided free food concessions to all in attendance. Norwood-Norfolk Raymondville Outreach provided school supplies to all school age children. Stewart’s Shops provided all the ingredients for a Make Your Own Sundaes. St. Lawrence County Traffic Safety was also there providing free bicycle helmets to children attending. Fifty- nine bicycle helmets were given out.

Unfortunately, due to Covid 19, we were unable to provide gently used clothing, Back2school hair cuts or have local social service agencies providing information about their programs ( though some did provide us with flyers about their programs, which we included in the backpacks.). However, we were pleased that were were able to host this event and help these kids celebrate the beginning of a new school year!

This event would not have been possible without the generous support of local businesses, social service agencies, civic groups, churches and individuals.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following groups: Adirondack Kids Foundation, Arconic, Common Cents Thrift Shop , Corning, Donaldson Funeral Home, Fidelis, First Book Market Place, Frazier Computing, Friends of Norwood Public Library, Garden Share, Head Start, Massena Elks, Massena McDonald’s, Massena Walmart, J.C. Merriman, Knowlton and Sons, Making Independent Living Choices/ SNAP and Mort Backus and Sons.

Also, Neighbors Helping Neighbors , NNCS Retired Teachers, NNCS Teachers Association, Norfolk American Legion, Norfolk American Legion Riders, Norfolk Housing Authority, Norfolk Knights of Columbus, Norfolk Raymondville Food Pantry, Norfolk United Methodist Church, Norfolk Wesleyan Church, North Country Now / This Week, Northern Machining, Northern New York Community Foundation, Norwood Kiwanis Club and Norwood Knights of Columbus.

Also, Norwood Norfolk Angel Tree, Norwood Norfolk Key Club, Norwood Norfolk Raymondville Outreach, Norwood Public Library, Order of the Eastern Star, Parish of the Visitation and St. Raymond’s , People Project, Potsdam Elks, Potsdam Walmart, Price Chopper, Raymondville United Methodist Church, Renewal Housing- Baldwin Acres, St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and St. Lawrence County Health Initiative.

Also, St. Lawrence County Traffic Safety-bike helmets, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Sandstone Family Dentistry , SeaComm Federal Credit Union, Smile Associates, Snider and Snider, Massena, Stewart’s Shops, Wagner’s Whistle Stop Thrift Shop, Youth Philanthropy Council of Northern New York Community Foundation, and MANY kind and generous individuals from our Community and beyond!

In addition to our Back2school 2020 event, CLPK has provided over 26,000 meals to local children since the schools closed in mid-March. None of this would have been possible without our kind and generous supporters! The Community Lunch Program for Kids is truly blessed to have such great Community support !

Wendy Chambers


The writer represents the Community Lunch Program for Kids

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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