Tuxedo Park School jump-starts weekend backpack meal program


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  • Photo by Christopher Kasker, Tuxedo Park School Tuxedo Park School eighth-grader Ally Turner of Warwick sorts through food items at George Grant Mason School in Tuxedo. Tuxedo Park School families donated the items as a community service project to support the Tuxedo School District’s BackPack program.




  • Tuxedo Park School eighth-grader Wade Mattingly of Warwick also was part of the community service project to support the Tuxedo School District’s BackPack program.




  • Photo by Christopher Kasker, Tuxedo Park School Tuxedo Park School eighth and ninth-grade students and George F. Baker High School eighth-grade students pose for a photo after stocking a food pantry in George Grant Mason School. Tuxedo Park School families donated the items as a community service project to support the Tuxedo District’s BackPack program.




— Students from the greater Tuxedo community came together this week for a service project to help provide healthy food options to local children.

Tuxedo Park School eighth- and ninth-graders met-up with George F. Baker High School eighth-grade students at the George Grant Mason School to unload, sort and store donated food items.

The food items were donated by Tuxedo Park School families during September. In the joint effort, Baker and TPS students unloaded and neatly stocked the shelves of the elementary school pantry.

“Our students jumped at the opportunity to join forces with Baker High School students,” said service program coordinator Kate Vignola, who also is a TPS French teacher. “The whole school gets behind this food drive because they know how important it is that children to come to school on Monday focused on learning, not hunger.”

The Tuxedo School District provides the food items to local families who qualify for the reduced/free lunch program. These food donations provide students with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need to get enough to eat on the weekend.

“It’s community based outreach between two schools that we hope to see continue to grow year after year,” said Diane Petrosky, former school board member and longtime backpack program volunteer. “It’s amazing to see children helping children.”

Petrosky expects the donation made by Tuxedo Park School to last into December. She will restock the supply as required by using fund raiser money conducted by other local organizations.

Ninth-grade student Piper Jenkins said: “I feel so fortunate to have the privilege of helping others while at TPS at the same time working with students from Tuxedo and getting to know them.”

During the school day on Fridays, eligible students are provide a backpack of food items to last them the weekend. Hence the name, Backpack Program.





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