MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – A doctoral student at Alfred University is making the most of her summer break in Mount Vernon, doing what she can to help city children and families in need.
Stacy Jaikaran, a Mount Vernon-native who is home from college for summer break, has organized a food drive that will be used to feed students who can’t utilize district food programs during the vacation from school.
Items will be accepted by Sandra Manzuetta, a city social worker, who runs a summer program at Longfellow Middle School. This educational and recreational program serves approximately 75 special needs students.
This spin off of the “BackPack Program” is designed to alleviate child hunger my providing at-risk children with nutritious, easy-to prepare food. Jaikaran has requested everything from pancake mix and peanut butter to pasta, rice, popcorn and other non-perishable food product.
Jaikaran said that during breaks from school, including weekends and summer vacation, it can be difficult for families to make ends meet.
“During the academic year, families often have the breakfast and lunch programs to assist with the cost of feeding the children,” she said. “It can be difficult for families to make ends meet. The donated items will be given to needy students enrolled in the program to take home for family and self use.”
Those interested in helping Jaikaran can support her from 10 to 2 p.m. on Thursday in front of City Hall, where she will be accepting donations for the food drive. Donations will be accepted through July 5.
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