Freshman student-athletes at SUNY Oswego recently packaged 200 bags of food for the local chapter of Blessings in a Backpack.

Laker student-athletes in classes taught by Sue Witmer and Heather Moore raced each other in teams to pack the variety of non-perishable foods for the non-profit organization, which provides food to area schoolchildren at risk of going hungry on the weekend.

Leadership and organizational skills were put to the test as well as cooperation and strategic thinking, said Witmer, who added that one of her teams barely eked out the victory over all competitors in both classes.

The charitable cause is one of many that Laker teams and student-athletes support. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of Blessings in a Backpack, Witmer noted.

In providing feedback on their assignment, student quotes included: "Knowing that I was going to be helping children in need was a really rewarding feeling," "It is really cool to see what people can do when they come together as one and help each other out" and "I had a really good time and would hope to do something like this activity in the future," Witmer said.

Any organization looking to help Blessings in a Backpack can call 315-297-7802.