Community generosity has paid off again. Trevor's Gift, a backpack program that provides lunches for children in school pre-k through 12th grade has provided more than 7,000 bags of food during the school year bringing the total number of food packages to nearly 18,000 since the programs inception three years ago. Co-Chair of the organization Doris Wolf says the program will last through the summer.
Trevor’s Gift provided food for the weekend and school vacations to an average of more than 170 kids each week in Skoi Yase, LaFayette, the Middle School and Waterloo High School.
Families may sign up at either the Waterloo Community Center or the Waterloo Library to receive a packet of food each Thursday. Families must come and pick up the food each week. According to a study by Foodlink, nearly 91% of the children share their food with others in their family.
Left to right, co-chair Kaaren Gerlach; Trevor Wright who inspired Trevor’s Gift backpack program; co-chair Doris Wolf and Jaelyn Olschewski celebrate the program’s successful third year.
During the school year, teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses, bus drivers and administrators identify children in pre kindergarten through grade 12 as nutritionally needy or homeless. Parents are asked to agree to accept Trevor’s Gift, a bag of groceries placed in the backpacks of the children each Friday. No child is denied food. The program is confidential. There is no charge for Trevor’s Gift, which is intended to provide food over the weekend and summer when children do not have access to school cafeterias.
Students receive an additional bag of food if school is on recess for a week. At Christmas, Waterloo Rotarians and Interact students packed a third bag to be distributed to the 175 students receiving Trevor’s Gift.
The food is obtained from Foodlink in Rochester. Volunteers Don Peters, John King, Patty Bowen and Jim Patsos pick up the bags of food, which are stored at Waterloo Baptist Church, and deliver them to the schools. Additional volunteer drivers are needed. Contact Wolf at 315-539-8302 or co-chair Kaaren Gerlach at 315-539-2927 for more details.
Wolf estimates it costs $200 per school year to feed one child. Although grants helped underwrite the costs for the first three years of the program, they have now expired, she said. That will force the program to do more fund raising.
“We are especially grateful to our ‘angels,’ the women of Waterloo Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, who not only have sent a check each month, but this year increased their monthly contribution.” Wolf added.
IESI Seneca Meadows has been a partner of Trevor’s Gift from the outset. This year, the company provided funds to feed more than 13 children.
“Our company believes in being a good partner, helping improve the lives of people in our community,” Said Mark Benjamin of IESI Seneca Meadows. “As a father, I know the importance of providing proper food to our children.”
That’s why Seneca Meadows is partnering with the New York Chiropractic College for a “Bring Your Kid to the Course day at Executive Links at NYCC on Saturday, Aug. 10. The first ever golf tournament will support Trevor’s Gift and the Seneca Falls Backpack programs. Cost is $30 per team for the nine-hole course. Tee times are: 9 a.m. for teams with players 13 and over and 12:30 p.m. for teams with players under age 12. And there will be prizes to make the day even more fun. There will be awards for the top three teams, the longest drive (child and adult), and closest to the pin. Top raffle prize is a golf club valued at $300. Of course there will be refreshments. Ice cream will be served on the course and a pizza party will follow the event. To register, or for more information, call 315-539-5624 . Registration Deadline is Friday, August 2, 2013.
Again this year the chefs who participate in the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce’s Cork & Fork gala will submit the recipes for their dishes for a cookbook that will be published to benefit Trevor’s Gift. The 2013 cookbook will be available at Cork & Fork or on line following the event.
All contributions are tax deductible and may be sent to Waterloo Education Foundation, Main Street Shop Center, Waterloo 13165