Initiative will help feed children throughout weekend hours
By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Northborough – The Northborough Rotary Club officially launched the 2019-2020 Nutrition 68 program at a reception held Oct. 8. The event was hosted by the club’s newest corporate members, Ed Murphy, executive director and Jim Priest, community relations director of Whitney Place Assisted Living and Memory Care, 238 West Main St., Northborough.
Nutrition 68 is a school weekend backpack program for children who face food insecurity. Backpacks are filled with items such as crackers, tuna, soup, pasta and cereal to help sustain the student and their family through the weekend.
Pat Doyle, president of the Northborough Rotary Club, shared that the number 68 refers to the hours of food insecurity that some school children experience from lunchtime on Friday till lunchtime on Monday.
Two years ago, the Northborough Rotary Club proposed the program to Alana Cyr, principal of the Fannie E. Proctor Elementary School, and to then-school superintendent, Christine Johnson, who thought it was a great idea.
Doyle and her husband Skip welcomed Northborough School principals, school superintendent Greg Martineau, and supporters to the Oct. 8 reception. They expressed appreciation to Whitney Place for hosting the event.
“We have to thank Alana Cyr for really pushing this program along…I think if you hadn’t been there pushing, who knows where we would have been?” remarked Skip.
Pat acknowledged Wegmans, with appreciation, as the program’s primary sponsor. (Representatives from Wegmans were unable to attend the ceremony, she added.)
The club received $3,000 through a Rotary District Grant and the club contributed $1,500 through other fundraising efforts.
“We piloted it at Proctor last year. We serviced 15 families and then this year we expanded it to the other three Northborough elementary schools and Melican Middle School,” noted Cyr. “Nutrition 68 has been life changing and beneficial to our families during various times of need in their lives. This service provides children and their families with a little bit of an extra boost…”
For more information and/or to donate, contact Pat Doyle at 508-393-9031 or email [email protected].