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Tuesday, December 2, 2014


(DECEMBER 2 - SOMERVILLE) The Somerville Backpack Program is raising awareness among Somerville residents this week about the work the new organization is doing to tackle weekend hunger faced by SPS students and is encouraging families to help this holiday season. 

Somerville Backpack Program volunteers deliver bags of nutritious food containing breakfast, lunch, snack and fresh fruit to students at the East Somerville Community School and the Next Wave and Full Circle Schools every Friday. The program supplements the free school meals students and their families rely on during the school week, but don't have access to during the weekend. 

On Giving Tuesday Backpack program volunteers and community partners encouraged Somerville residents to donate through it’s website,, to provide Somerville students with the nutrition they need to succeed.

“We kept hearing that some students were returning to school on Monday more tired and distracted than when they left on Friday because of a lack of access to food on the weekend,” said Ross Richmond, who founded the program last spring. “Students who rely on Somerville’s breakfast and lunch programs during the week are still required to be students on the weekend. The Backpack Program provides nutritional support outside of school so that these student can succeed throughout the entire week.”

The Somerville Backpack Program is modeled after national backpack food programs and began as a pilot program last spring at Next Wave and Full Circle Schools with seed funding from Shape Up Somerville and the Cambridge Health Alliance. This school year the program has continued at Next Wave and Full Circle and expanded to provide food to students at the East Somerville Community School. The program is based out of the Beautiful Stuff Project and Connexion Church in East Somerville.

A bag of food for one student is less than $4 a week, or $150 to sponsor a student for the entire school year. And a $30 contribution provides a month's worth of food for the weekend for a family with 2 students.

For more information residents can contact Ross Richmond at 617.863.0177 or visit


Anonymous said...

While I completely and very much understand a need does exist for affording some help in the way of providing food for those children who are in need; but from personal observation (every week) of adults, meaning parents of children, going through the check-outs at Market Basket, I will never understand how those adults paying their grocery food bill, evidently due to their low income, qualifying for food stanps, the BIC Program, and other low income subsidies; these same adult parent persons are displaying much jewlery,cell phones, I-pads,body tatoos, and are very well dressed; and seeing some putting their groceries into late model cars, that I as a working person, cannot afford to buy.

Anonymous said...

One reason why I crossed party lines and voted for Charlie Baker.

One of his campaign "promises" was to work on welfare fraud if elected.

No question, it is rampant. Generation after generation, same families, ripping off the system.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gov. Elect Baker.

I know of a nearby "family unit" living in section 8 rental apartment.

One adult female, one adult male, not married. Two school age children.
Both own their own cars.
He works full time; she works part-time as a house cleaner.

Happened to be behind the female checking out at the Stop & Shop.

She paid using food stamps and BIC vouchers. (check out line was backed up because she was buying some things not eligible under the program and the cashier had to separate those items out)

She and the male are also smokers.
Aside from the health issue, cigarettes are expensive.
We, the taxpayers, are paying for what's going on here with these people and others doing the same thing.

Not too wild a guess to say, or think, their kids probably get free food from the program described above.

Not saying some kids are not deserving for receiving the free food help.

Anonymous said...

By the way the adult male,above, does not work at a job that pays minimal wage. Historically, his work pays a good hourly rate; and as I understand the rule for getting approved for BIC, he is not allowed to live under the same roof as her.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Courtney for allowing the above to be posted.

It's really sad that the same rip-off of taxpayer money exists in great numbers.
Hurting the entitled persons as well.

Anonymous said...

Correcting my prior post where I referred to the "BIC" subsidy program.
It should be the "WIC" program.

Thank you!