Ten years ago, New Canaan’s Shawnee Knight and Tina Kramer were looking for something worthwhile that they could do on their own.
On learning about the national Blessings in a Backpack program, they connected with an area summer camp to kickstart a food-packing program. It was funded entirely by themselves, and the friends not only learned a lot about the logistics of such an undertaking, they saw a very real need up close. That Christmas, they arranged to deliver, themselves, special holiday backpacks for the 100 kids at Stamford’s Domus—kids on free or reduced lunch at a school that serves some of the city’s most at-risk youth. Soon they founded an 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization—Filling in the Blanks—to ensure that those kids also had food on the weekends throughout the school year. That was in 2013.