To the editor,

The Cannon Beach Backpack Program began six years ago on a hope and a prayer.

The astonishing support it began receiving almost immediately, from residents, second homeowners, visitors and city officials was gratifying, to say the least. For five years Cannon Beach Elementary School children in need of extra food during weekends and holidays went home with backpacks literally brimming with nutritious goodies.

We also were able to help fund and give technical support to a virtually identical program in Seaside and Gearhart, now in its third year of operation and feeding children in grades K through 8.

We had hoped that there would be only a brief time between the closing of the Cannon Beach Elementary School and the opening of the Cannon Beach Academy. With the latter now at least two years off, we have concluded we should close out the Cannon Beach Backpack Program to avoid expensive administrative costs.

We are transferring funds received specifically to buy food for backpacks to the Seaside Food 4 Kids Program. Through them, all program-eligible Cannon Beach kids attending school at Seaside Heights, Gearhart Elementary or Broadway Middle schools continue to receive the same nutritious food they received through the Cannon Beach Backpack Program.

Please be rest assured, when the Cannon Beach Academy is operational, Food 4 Kids has promised to work with the charter school leadership so that all needy children continue to get the food support they need!

Since the Cannon Beach Food Pantry relocated its administration to the Cannon Beach Community Church in 2013, there will be no need for the Cannon Beach Community Food Systems to maintain existence; it would in fact be expensive to do so. Instead, all funds donated for the operation of the administration of Cannon Beach Food Systems will be donated to the Cannon Beach Food Pantry, along with the shelving and refrigerator previously used by the backpack program.

We wish to thank everyone for their years of financial support to both the Cannon Beach Food Systems and the Cannon Beach Backpack Program. A special shout-out to the dozen or so volunteers who made the program work smoothly this entire time. There are backpack programs dotting the North Coast, all modeled after what was started in our community.

The food systems website (wwwcannonbeachcfs.org) will be updated shortly to provide information on how interested persons can give support to Food 4 Kids.

With Great Appreciation,

The Cannon Beach Community Food Systems Board

Linda Beck-Sweeney

Sharon Clyde

Marty Schwab Harris

Karen Hoyt

Gigi Selberg

Lianne Thompson

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