We dream of a community in which every child has what they need to succeed in school regardless of their ability to pay.
When children are hungry they cannot focus. When children have holes in their shoes their feet get wet, they are embarrassed, and withdraw from their peers. When children do not have the tools they need to learn they become discouraged and they may fall behind. When basic meeds are not met, learning cannot happen.
We provide free school supplies, clothing, shoes, personal care items, and food support to children in need right here in Canandaigua. We believe that by providing these basic needs, we can help children reach their full potential in, and out, of the classroom. Our work helps students, their families, teachers, and our entire community. Join us on our journey!
The Spot started as a simple sock and underwear drive with one volunteer and has grown into an annual back to school event, year round free resource rooms within each Canandaigua school, and a group of nearly 80 volunteers! We work closely with district social workers, interventionists, teachers, and administration to identify needs and distribute items to students in need of support.
The Spot provides items in four main areas:
- School supplies
- Clothes and shoes
- Personal care items
- Food support
Food Support Program
We have two food support programs to help hungry children. The first is our snack program which provides free snacks to students at all levels. Teachers at the PES can request classroom snacks for students who consistently are unable to provide their own. Snacks are also available at the Middle School and Academy and are free for students to take at any time. We also provide heartier food support options like pasta, soups, and oatmeal for students in grades 6-12 to take home over the weekend or longer school breaks.
The second initiative we manage is the Foodlink weekend backpack program through Canandaigua Churches in Action. Each month 140+ Primary Elementary students receive a bag of non-perishable food items. These bags are packed and delivered to classrooms by volunteers, then the bags are sent home the next afternoon discretely in the backpacks of participating students. This program needs consistent financial support to operate. Each year we need to raise approximately $4,000 (for this program alone) in order to ensure these students do not go hungry while they are away from school.
Year-round Resource Spaces provide immediate access to items for teachers, administration, and students. The inventory at each location is varied depending on the age of the students and their unique needs. We use district supply lists and feedback from students and staff to determine what is stocked at each location. School supplies, clothing, shoes, snacks, and personal care items are available at all locations. We are also able to meet specific requests that we receive from social workers and teachers for individual students.