Backpack Program fundraiser springs to life

Citizen Advocates is proud to announce the Taste of Malone Event is moving to Spring.

After last year’s successful reimagining, the main fundraiser for Citizen Advocates’ Backpack Program will once again be held at participating restaurants across the community.  Each restaurant will donate 20 percent of revenue generated from dine-in and take-out orders made on Thursday, April 28 to the Citizen Advocates Backpack Program.

Sponsored by Citizen Advocates’ newly established Foundation, the main goal of the program is to eliminate childhood hunger in the North County.  The Backpack Program provides eligible children in grades kindergarten through six with nutritious food on the weekend throughout the school year.

Participating restaurants are: Bokie’s Drive-In, Donovan’s Steak & Ale, The Elks Lodge, The Grille Room at Malone Golf Club, Hosler’s Family Restaurant, Jessie’s Supper Club, Jreck Subs, Mo’s Pub & Grill, The Pines Tap & Table, Riverside Restaurant, Something Different Pizza & Deli, and SmokeHouse Pizzeria.

“After a year off, Taste of Malone came back with renewed purpose and energy in 2021,” said James Button, CEO of Citizen Advocates.  “We’re thrilled to expand the scope of the fundraiser even further in 2022.  More restaurants, more sponsors, more individuals working hand-in-hand to end childhood hunger.”

The Backpack Program costs about $70,000 annually to operate and provides roughly 500 local school-aged children with healthy meal choices on the weekend.  All funds raised go directly to the program, which relies entirely on volunteer time for support.  Each Tuesday, volunteers fill bags with food, which are then delivered to participating schools where staff members discreetly distribute the bags to participating children.

“Citizen Advocates is establishing a Foundation to support health, wellness, and belonging in the North Country,” said Jennifer Bilow, the Foundation’s Executive Director.  “That mission is typified by the vital work of the Backpack Program, which would not be possible without the community rallying together behind Taste of Malone.”

Several local individuals and businesses have also generously given to help with program costs, including this year’s corporate sponsors, Adirondack for Kids and NBT Bank.

Individuals wishing to sponsor an individual child for a year are encouraged to make a $125 donation to the Adopt-A-Kid Campaign.  To learn more, contact Amanda Tagliarino at (518) 578-0557.