BRISTOL - Wanting to make sure local children have enough food when they are out of school for winter break this week, members of two local churches and the Cortland Moose stocked them with their annual backpack program.
Pastor Roger Norton of Bristolville United Methodist Church said the backpacks filled with food items were delivered before Christmas break to students in kindergarten to sixth grades.
Students who received the backpacks were identified through the school district's breakfast and lunch programs as those needing assistance.
The Bristolville United Methodist Church, West Farmington United Metho-dist Church and Cortland Moose worked together on the effort, which is in its fourth year, Norton said. The public helps with cash donations.
He said there were 190 participants who volunteered in sorting food and then packing 140 backpacks.
"There was enough food for seven school days that each child will be on vacation. Norton said there was cereal and hot chocolate for breakfast, crackers, macaroni and cheese, canned pasta, soups, applesauce and pudding for lunch.
Norton said volunteers signed up from both churches to help. Both the churches have often taken part in projects together.
It took one day to get all the food and one day to package and deliver to the school, Norton said.
"We have heard from the school officials and the parents who are so appreciative of what has been done in the past,'' he said.
Eighty percent of the backpacks are returned to be used again. Norton said those families helped in the past will let him know if they don't need help this year and asked that the backpacks be given to other families.
"We want to make sure the children won't go hungry," Norton said.