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Community raises $6,000 to eliminate childhood hunger


The community came out in full force for the new-look Taste of Malone Dinner, which raised $6,000 for the Citizen Advocates Backpack Program.

The Taste of Malone fundraiser was held at eight local restaurants who agreed to donate 20 percent of revenue generated from dinner orders – both dine-in and take-out – made on Oct. 21.

The eight participating restaurants were: Donovan’s Steak & Ale, Hearth of Malone, Hosler’s Family Restaurant, King’s Wok Buffet, Malone Golf Club, Mo’s Pub & Grill, The Pine’s and Riverside Restaurant. 

“By holding this event at multiple locations, more community members were able to participate which drove more business to each of the restaurants,” said James Button, CEO of Citizen Advocates. “We heard so much positive feedback from all involved, and because of that we are committed to holding the same event next year in this re-imagined format.”

Not only did the new format increase participation, the Taste of Malone Dinner provided local restaurants a much needed platform to feature what they have to offer after experiencing so many challenges during the past 18 months. 

“Despite the many obstacles and disruption caused by COVID-19, our local businesses and community members made such a strong statement by dining out for Taste of Malone,” said Mr. Button. “This is what we do – we band together when it’s needed most, and in this case, to fulfill our shared mission to eliminate childhood hunger.”

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

In addition to the Backpack Program, Citizen Advocates recently donated $500 to the “Back the Pack” program operated by the Massena Central School District.  This program also provides healthy, supplemental meals to children.

The Citizen Advocates Backpack Program costs about $70,000 annually to operate and provides roughly 450 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.

Several local individuals and businesses have given generously to help with program costs, including this year’s major sponsors: The Joy in Childhood Foundation, Adirondack for Kids, NBT Bank, TruNorthern Federal Credit Union, Sid G. Spear Insurance and United Way of the Adirondack Region.

Individuals wishing to sponsor an individual child for a year are encouraged to make a $200 donation to the Adopt-A-Kid Campaign.  To learn more, contact Joe Riccio at (518) 651-2760.