Fill The Backpack

Local families counting on your donations to Fill the Backpack campaign

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) - News 4 continues to collect donations for the Food Bank of Western New York's Backpack Program, and so far, you've given more than 96,000 pounds of food.

That makes a huge difference for students like Dominic Roman, a 2nd grader at Winchester Elementary School in West Seneca.

Roman has lived with his grandmother, Barbara Yacone, for the last four years, and his family depends on the Backpack Program for nutritious food to last Dominic through the weekends when he can't get meals at school.

"Dom eats everything that comes in that bag. He loves the chicken soup. He loves vegetables. He's a pasta kid, so when they send pasta and sauce, it's wonderful," Yacone told News 4.

And Dominic happily shares the food with his two-year-old brother, Lucian. We asked Dominic what Lucian likes to eat out of the Backpack bag every weekend. He responded, "All of it!"

Every Friday, Dominic brings a big bag of food home from school for his family.

He's one of 32 kids at Winchester Elementary who take part in the Backpack program.

Winchester has the lowest enrollment of all the elementary schools in the West Seneca district, but it has the highest poverty rate.

As a Title I school, every kid at Winchester is eligible to take home a bag of food every week, if their parent or guardian contacts the school social worker.

MORE | Winchester Elementary parents & guardians can contact School Social Worker Luke Rejewski at (716)677-3594 or by email at

Yacone says the Backpack food is a huge help for her family.

"This school has helped me and my grandson tremendously," Yacone said. "Especially when you're on disability, and you have a very small income coming in, and also I have bills like everybody else to pay and you have to make sure that everything balances and everything works out."

Yacone is able to make her family's situation work with SNAP benefits and the help of a food pantry every other week.

The Backpack Program food coming in every Friday is a very welcome gift.

"Everybody doesn't have to buy food," Dominic explained. "It's like I have so much food for free."

Your help is needed for so many local families like Dominic's.

You can buy a bag at the checkout at Wegman's to donate to the Fill the Backpack campaign.

This year's donation drive runs through June 17.



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