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Changing Lives Through Nutrition

Volunteers filling packs
Volunteers filling packs

It may be hard to believe, but Darien, IL has kids going hungry.  The Darien Rotary Club is doing something about that. 

Working with Mark DeLay grade school in District 61, the Darien Rotary Club has started a backpack program.  This program will, starting in January, be sending kids home for the weekend with non-perishable food.  The program’s focus is on “food insecure” kids – children who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and for whom the school cafeteria is the primary source of nutrition.

This pilot program is starting with a goal of feeding 100 kids, enabling them to start school each Monday ready to learn instead of too hungry to concentrate.  The Darien Rotary Club bought the food, using $5,000 of their money and a $1,000 community grant from Wal-Mart.  On Tuesday, December 10, volunteers from the Darien Rotary, the Darien Women’s’ Club and the Darien Youth Organization met at Darien Safety Village to fill the packages for the kids. 

School administrators, faculty and social workers are charged with distributing the food at school.  To avoid creating a stigma, all distributions are done anonymously. 

For more information about Rotary, including how to donate or join, visit www.darienrotaryclub.org or contact Chris Gerrib at 630-434-5075.  For information about the backpack program, including volunteer opportunities, contact Joan Wayman at 630-747-5250 or joan@joanwayman.com

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