As a family-owned and -operated convenience store, the owners of Lakeport Market in Chittenango, N.Y., knew their efforts to help their community in the shadow of COVID-19 had to center on family. The ownership includes former Nice N Easy executive Matt Paduano, wife Maureen, and adult children Nicole Roth, Alyssa Paduano and Anthony Paduano.

Since March 17, the family has been donating meals to schoolchildren who might not get a lunch otherwise. They’ve created a different theme for each day of the week—from Taco Tuesday to Pizza Friday—and on Friday, the lunch bags also include games and activities to keep children busy. The store had given out nearly 3,500 lunches by mid-May, with plans to continue the program through the end of the school year in June. The store also stocked safety masks, selling them at cost to help customers stay protected.

“We’ve been looking for opportunities to get more involved with the community. This was a great way to be able to help out,” says Roth.

“We received over $5,000 in community donations, but also the community donated oranges or bags of cookies just to make the lunches more complete.” —Alyssa Paduano, Owner/Director Of Foodservice

Store co-owner Nicole Roth fills lunch bags to be donated to children in the community.

Hometown Heroes - Lakeport Market Tribute from Winsight, LLC on Vimeo.