MVP Health Care has become a great supporter of the Regional Food Bank’s BackPack Program in the last few years. They started by sponsoring one BackPack site in a Schenectady city school, but once they realized the severity of childhood hunger and benefits of the program, they committed themselves in a much bigger way. Their goal was to bring the program to every elementary school in the city, and they brought together the Food Bank, Schenectady School District, funders, and other organizations to develop and implement a plan to achieve that goal. They also committed a very large contribution to get the program off the ground.

The collaboration they created worked beautifully, and the program was launched in the 2014-15 school year. More than 650 children were served, and a year-end evaluation of the program demonstrated that children receiving backpacks of food on weekends had better attendance, performed better in school, and had fewer disciplinary issues than children not in the program. With those results as inspiration, MVP pushed the collaboration to expand the program to over 1,000 students.

MVP’s commitment to improving the lives of children living in poverty, and the determination and skill they demonstrated in bringing people together to address a critical community need have been inspiring for all of us. We thank our friends at MVP for supporting the Food Bank so generously and making a real difference for many needy children and their families.