It's Monday morning and 1 out of 5 Darien elementary school students are hungry. They are groggy. Not fully engaged. They are falling behind. Darien District 61 Superintendent Dr. Robert Carlo says, "some of these students end up in the nurse's office complaining of headaches or upset stomachs which the nurse knows is easily cured with a healthy meal."
Over the weekend, their families were not able to provide sustained nutrition. Back in school, they will receive free or reduced price meals from the school district. It can be Wednesday before they regain their full potential to learn. Caring teachers will spend class time helping them keep up, making this an issue that can affect all students in the class.
This school year we have been able to provide Backpack Food for Kids assistance every weekend to 165 students in need. However, Superintendent Dr. Robert Carlo estimates that in his district alone there are over 400 children currently in need of assistance. "Fortunately, we have the Rotary Club of Darien working with us to close that gap."
We need your help to expand the program to cover all of the at risk children in our area. On April 24th starting at 6pm, the Rotary Club of Darien we will be holding our annual Taste of Route 66 Fundraiser at Ashyana Banquets primarily to raise funds to support the Backpack Food for Kids program, as well as to raise additional funds for other local, national, and international programs, such as Shelter Box, Darien DYC scholarship program and NAMI DuPage. Area restaurants will be providing a sampling of their menus. There will be a cash bar and the event will feature silent and live auctions.