The Kiwanis Children’s Fund helps seven clubs address kids’ nutrition, physical fitness and comfort. 

By Erin Chandler

In the months of May, June and July, the Kiwanis Children’s Fund continued to amplify Kiwanians’ ability to change lives in their communities by distributing microgrants to Kiwanis clubs with 35 or fewer members. Kiwanis Children’s Fund grants improve the lives of children around the world by identifying the projects that create a continuum of impact in a child’s life — an impact that spans their entire childhood and sets them up for a bright future. By funding projects that target the Kiwanis causes of education and literacy, health and nutrition, and youth leadership development, whether through a Kiwanis club’s local service project or through a club’s partner, the Children’s Fund ensures that its grantmaking has the greatest possible impact. 

Recent microgrants have gone to Kiwanis clubs around the world collecting school supplies, spreading literacy through physical and virtual libraries, and updating learning spaces for children. The following seven clubs received funding for projects focused on enhancing the health and nutrition of kids in need. 

More nutritious food
At Twin Rivers Elementary School in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, U.S., 100% of the students qualify for the free lunch program. For the past two years, the Kiwanis Club of McKeesport White Oak has stepped in to make sure those students with the greatest need do not go hungry over the weekends with their Weekend Food Bag program. Kiwanis club members donate and pack food each week for the students to take home on Fridays throughout the school year. Last year, they gave a total of 1,080 bags of food to 30 students. A Kiwanis Children’s Fund microgrant will help the club offer greater quantities of more nutritious food as they extend the program into the 2023-24 school year. 

Summer meals
The Kiwanis Club of Meramec Valley Community, Missouri, U.S., is teaming up with the Valley Park School District and several other local service organizations to make sure students up to age 18 have enough food during the summer months, when school is not in session. Volunteers use school kitchen and lunchroom facilities to store and pack food into lunch bags, which they distribute three times a week at three community sites. The club estimates that 50-75 children will benefit from the program, thanks to the food they purchase with the help of a Kiwanis Children’s Fund microgrant.  

Bigger fridge, less hunger
For the past year, the Kiwanis Club of Bachten de Kupe, La Joconde, West Flanders, Belgium, has addressed both food waste and hunger in its community by turning surplus food from farms and businesses into food packages for around 1,000 children in need. Currently, one in eight children in Belgium struggle with food insecurity, and the number is growing beyond the club’s ability to keep up with the demand. A microgrant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund will allow the club to purchase a larger refrigerator and double the number of children the project serves.  

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