Students in Chatham-Kent who may need a little extra help filling the hunger gap at lunch time can count on the May Court Club of Chatham to be there for them.
The club’s Emergency Lunch Box (ELB) program convenor Sue Cummings said fundraisers like the successful biannual Painted House auction helps raise money to purchase nutritious snacks for 25 schools from the public and the French and English Catholic boards.
“We feed kids,” said Cummings. “Since 1990, May Court Club has provided healthy snacks for schools in Chatham-Kent across three boards, elementary and secondary. Each month, an ELB committee volunteer takes orders from the schools and delivers the snacks.”
Last year, the club spent $17,680 on the program. According to Cummings the amount spent is based on the individual schools’ needs and what is purchased is based on the nutritional guidelines of the boards.
Snack items include apples, yogurt, cheese strings, granola bars, bagels, cream cheese and juice boxes.
“It’s based on need. We are filling the gap for students who may run out of food at lunch or not have enough food at lunch. Whatever they require that month, we purchase the items and fill that order,” Cummings explained. “Every school has a contact person who places the orders with May Court.”
In addition to the ELB program, the club also supports the breakfast program at Queen Elizabeth II School in Chatham, providing $5,000 in food items annually, as well as volunteers to work during the program.
“The breakfast program runs five days a week during the school year and there are 75 students each morning benefit from it,” Cummings said of the program, which is convened by May Court Club member Nancy LeMar.
Both programs are paid for by dollars gathered through fundraising. This past spring, the Painted House auction raised $28,000, and Cummings said they are very grateful to the donors, sponsors and community members involved in making it such a success.
May Court also held the Fran Crummer Memorial Walk recently to raise funds, volunteers run bingos throughout the year, and the club is gearing up for its Women of Excellence event slated for May of 2016. More information on the event will be released when nominations open next month.
The May Court Club is celebrating 80 years of community service this year, have pioneered many unique programs in Chatham such as the first day nurseries, and has the distinction of being the oldest women’s service club in Canada.
For more information on the club and its events, please go to www.maycourtchatham.ca or visit The May Court Club of Chatham Facebook page.