School breakfast and lunch programs are great, but what happens on the weekends? To fill the gap, Nutrition on Weekends (NOW) aims to increase food availability for elementary students in Kenora. Now, a $4,000 grant from District 26 Kenora of RTOERO will help to meet this challenge.
RTOERO include retirees and active employees from the broader education community, and has a mission to improve the lives of members and seniors. District 26 Kenora includes 300 members.
The RTOERO funds will go towards groceries and help respond to the growing needs of the NOW program.
“Each small but meaningful step to address child poverty is a gain for the student’s future and for our community,” says Josie Groen, president, District 26 Kenora, RTOERO. “As program volunteers, RTOERO members also enjoy the opportunity to continue the important work of supporting students in a fundamental way.”
The Rotary Club facilitates the NOW program. Volunteers purchase and package the groceries for two breakfasts, two snack and two lunches for each student enrolled.
Last year, the program served 275 students from across eight elementary schools. Even after schools closed in March 2020 due to COVID, NOW partnered with schools and the Northwestern Health Unit to provide meals through a safe delivery method.
The District 26 funding is part of RTOERO’s annual Community Grants program. Districts apply for individual projects (education-related or other community initiatives) that support a local, national or international program. Up to $4,000 per project is available.