Filling in the Blanks: fighting nearby childhood hunger - New Canaan & Darien Moms


  If you’ve been doing any local shopping lately, you recognize this logo and you’ve seen signs for donating to Filling in the Blank’s 3rd Annual Holiday Backpack drive. Local New Canaan moms, Shawnee Knight and Tina Kramer are the founders and the force behind Filling in the Blanks whose mission it is to bring weekend meals to needy children who are eligible for the free or reduced lunch program. This program is available throughout the year, including the critical summer months when there’s no school. For just $5.00 a weekend, each child is provided with with a bag of non-perishable, easy to prepare food items. In addition, before the holiday break, they will receive backpacks including a brand-new, grade-appropriate book, a new toy, new hat, scarf, gloves and socks, new toothbrush and pancake mix and syrup. Providing these basic necessities not only helps fight hunger for these children, but it also gets them in a better mind set to start learning Monday mornings to prepare for a better future.


Shawnee and Tina were looking for a way to give back and get their kids involved. Now, 3 years later, they feed over 650 children on a weekly basis and provide ways for all of us to get involved and join the cause. Whether you’d like to volunteer your time, organize a food drive through your school (or otherwise), fundraise, or come up with your own idea to raise money, there is room for everybody!


Click here for more ways to get involved.
If you are interested in volunteering your time, click here for the upcoming packing and delivery schedule.


Founders and our Current “Meet a Moms”

shawnee-knightShawnee Knight, Co-Founder

Shawnee Knight is a passionate chef, community activist, board member, wife and mother. Classically trained at the French Culinary Institute of NYC, co-founding Filling in the Blanks has allowed her to marry her love of food, community and charity. What began with the Connecticut chapter of Blessings in a Backpack has grown into an organization based on Knight’s strong sense of social responsibility to nurture the community’s needy children and inspire others to do the same. When she’s not serving on committees and boards in the area of New Canaan, CT, Knight enjoys volunteering for various sports teams and spending time with her husband of 17 years and her two boys, ages 15 and 16. [email protected]


Tina Kramer, Co-Founder

Filling in the Blanks allows Tina to combine her passion for community service and love of children. Through her deep-rooted connections in the community, she has rallied families and children to help raise funds and pack thousands of bags of food for children in need. Tina has served on various charitable boards and committees over the past 14 years. She is currently the Vice Chair on the Board of Trustees for StemCivics, a college preparatory high school. Tina received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut. [email protected]




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