Southern Tier Tuesdays: Backpack Buddies Downsville Central School awarded $2,000 grant

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Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 3:40 PM EST
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DOWNSVILLE, N.Y. (WBNG) -- Backpack Buddies Downsville Central School is this week’s winner of a $2,000 grant from Upstate Shredding through Southern Tier Tuesdays.

Co-Organizer Jeannie Langdon said the Backpack Buddies program began to help stop hunger throughout the Downsville Central School District.

“One of our students was upset and said well I don’t really have any food at home,” Langdon said. “So we went to the Vice Principal and said what can we do.”

Langdon noted her Co-Organizer Janet Champlin began talking with Administration to make a change.

“Little did we know at that time Janet [Champlin] was at the other end of the school working with the administration to start a backpack program,” Langdon said.

Co-Organizer Janet Champlin said Backpack Buddies packs 60 bags a week for children at Downsville Central School.

“We provide two proteins, two grains, two dairy, and two fruits and vegetables to each child,” Champlin said. “Food goes home on Friday and right now we use actual shopping bags we used to use an actual backpack but because of COVID we can’t have them leaving with the backpacks and coming back.”

Champlin explained if parents feel that their child would benefit from this program to call the school and ask for Jeannie Langdon.

“There is no financial criteria you just sign up and you’re on the program,” Champlin said.

Backpack Buddies will use this grant money to purchase groceries.

“When we started we were spending $1.05-$1.50 a week per bag and now we’re at $3.07-$3.53 a bag,” Champlin said.

Southern Tier Tuesdays is a philanthropic endeavor of Adam Weitsman, owner of Upstate Shredding, and his daughter, Clover. For more information or to nominate a Southern Tier non-profit go to