MEDWAY —Superintendent Armand Pires and Director of Wellness Dr. Ryan Sherman are pleased to share that Medway’s Weekend Backpack Program received a donation last week from a local businessman.
Paul Yorkis, President of Patriot Real Estate in Medway, secured a $1,000 grant from the Boston Realtors Association to be awarded to the Medway Village Church Food Pantry in support of Medway Schools’ Weekend Backpack Program. Yorkis decided to match the grant funds with a donation from his company, totaling a $2,000 donation for Medway’s program.
Medway Village Church Food Pantry Director Susan Dietrich and Superintendent Pires accepted Yorkis’ donation on behalf of the food pantry and Medway Public Schools on Thursday, Jan. 9.
Medway’s Weekend Backpack Program began at Burke-Memorial Elementary in 2018. The program expanded to McGovern Elementary in October 2019.
Each week, volunteer staff put drawstring bags full of food together for the students signed up for the program. The nurses at each school then ensure each student receives a bag before the end of the school day on Friday that can be carried home to enjoy over the weekend. Each bag contains two breakfast items, milk, juice and six snacks that students can eat on their own, like granola bars and applesauce, as well as lunch items they can prepare with an adult, like pasta or rice.
“We’re very thankful to Mr. Yorkis for his generous donation to our Weekend Backpack Program,” Superintendent Pires said. “This important initiative allows us to supply our elementary students with healthy snacks and meals for the weekend when they are not in school, and Mr. Yorkis’ donation will help ensure that this program can continue to benefit our students and families.”
On average, 25 bags of food are packaged per week for McGovern students, and another 15 for Burke-Memorial students.
“Last year, we distributed almost 500 bags of food between late September and early December, and families have the option to enroll in the program throughout the year,” Dietrich said. “In order to meet this need, we rely on donations such as this one from Mr. Yorkis, and we are incredibly grateful for the continued support from the community.”
The Weekend Backpack Program is an extension of the Medway Village Church Food Pantry, a private, non-profit group. The Medway Village Church Food Pantry is a member agency of the Greater Boston Food Bank.