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RPES Knapsack Program Honored at RensCo Arc Partners Breakfast

Update (October 25, 2021)

As we shared in our original posting from September below, the Rensselaer Park Elementary School Knapsack Program was chosen as an award winner at the Arc of Rensselaer County's 2021 Community Partners Breakfast. 

The Community Partners Breakfast was held on the morning of October 21 and in attendance representing Rensselaer Park were Melissa Watts (RPES Knapsack Program Coordinator), Sue Anthony (RPES School Nurse who helped establish the Arc partnership) and Katie Stalker (RPES Principal).

At the Breakfast, Ms. Watts and Ms. Anthony and current Arc employee James (who used to attend RPES & currently assists the program) were presented with a $250 check to support the RPES Knapsack Program.

Congratulations to Ms. Watts and Ms. Anthony for not only their outstanding work on this invaluable program that helps feed RPES students on weekends but also for helping the program receive this well-deserved recognition.  

Pictures from the Arc Community Breakfast on October 21


Original Post (September 29, 2021)

Lansingburgh is proud to announce that the Arc of Rensselaer County has picked Rensselaer Park Elementary School’s Knapsack Program as an award winner at their upcoming 2021 Community Partners Breakfast.    

Rensselaer Park’s Knapsack Program is a weekly meal program that provides participating RPES students with food on the weekends when school meals are unavailable. Students receive a bag of food free of charge to bring home and use over the weekend.

Knapsack Program bags contain food for breakfast (cereal, oatmeal), lunch (mac & cheese, bread, peanut butter), dinner (pasta, sauce, canned veggies) and snack foods such as fresh fruit. Every other week participating students are provided with Stewart’s Shops Milk & Egg Cards they can redeem at any Stewart's.

Rensselaer Park students are enrolled in the program based on recommendations from teachers who have familiarity with a given student to know if they could benefit.

“This program is so important because as our kids have said "when I do not have food, the Knapsack Program puts food in my belly," said Melissa Watts, Rensselaer Park’s Social Worker and Knapsack Coordinator.

“I am both surprised and grateful the program received this recognition”, added Watts. “The partnership between our school and the Arc of Rensselaer County has been amazing. The Knapsack Program could not run without them.”

Every year at their Community Partners Breakfast, the Arc of Rensselaer County recognizes organizations and individuals making positive differences in the local community. Mrs. Watts and other representatives from Rensselaer Park will attend the Community Partners Breakfast on October 21 to accept this honor.

The district is extremely grateful to the Arc of Rensselaer County for recognizing the efforts of Rensselaer Park’s Knapsack Program.

Rensselaer Park’s Knapsack Program is run independently of the annual school budget and is entirely donation-based. Individuals interested in contributing to the Knapsack Program can do so by sending monetary donations to:

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York

Attn: Backpack Program

965 Albany-Shaker Rd

Latham, NY  12110

** If sending a donation, please note on your check that it is for “Lansingburgh Rensselaer Park 1914B”