Wanting to do a community service project before he graduates , Aiden Kravitz thought about helping hungry kids overseas, but then his mom, Joanne, pointed out that there are hungry kids in his own community.
Aiden got to work and before long, his mom said he learned that there are numerous needy Westhampton Beach Elementary School students.
That's when he decided to start a Westhampton Beach chapter of the international Blessing in a Backpack program, which sends elementary school kids home, each Friday, with a backpack full of food.
The students, who receive the backpack are all, said Joanne, on the federal free and reduced lunch program. At , she said, there are 118 students that are eligible.
Aiden, said Joanne, has made it his mission to feed all of those children, starting this fall, and plans to enlist fellow teens to help shop and stock the backpacks each week.
In his mission statement, Aiden wrote, "Thus far in my Blessings in a Backpack project, I have really learned much about our community. The most shocking, is the extent to which poverty in our community is overlooked. Who would have thought that in a community as opulent as our own, we still have nearly a quarter of our elementary students on federally free or reduced lunch programs?"
To accomplish his goal in sending all 118 students home with a backpack full of goods through the end of the school year, Aiden must raise $9,400 — it costs about $80 per child per week.
To date, Aiden has raised $3,960 though a lottery fundraiser and donation letter mailing.
He is hoping to garner a couple thousand more on Saturday at a fundraiser he is holding at , located at 92 Old Riverhead Road, at noon.
Those wishing to participate will be able to take part in a one-hour spin class for a donation of $50. The event will also feature refreshments and raffles.
For more information, e-mail FoodForThought631@gmail.com.