The 2015-2016 Rotary Year marked the third consecutive year that the Athens, Alabama Rotary Club has partnered with our local school systems to help solve hunger in our local school systems. In the beginning, we must give credit to two young mothers, Ginger Hickman and Jennifer Morrison for their creative idea to feed hungry kids. After meeting with principals and teachers, who gave full support, one of the local elementary schools started the Full Tummy Project in Athens, Alabama.
The Athens Rotary Club contributes to solving hunger within our local school systems by purchasing, packing, and delivering non-perishable food items to local schools. This past year our club, with the help of Rotary District 6960, provided over 16,000 servings of food items (such as spaghetti cups, granola bars, fruit cups, juice boxes, and breakfast pastries) to local school children in need. Our Rotary Club budgeted and spent $5,000 for the project. In addition, we received a District Grant in the amount of $3,000 from District 6860. Over 400 students benefited from this project.
Educators tell us that students who are hungry are less capable of focusing on their school work. The Athens Rotary Full Tummy Project’s long term benefit to the community is in removing this barrier to the learning process and providing the best opportunity for success in education.
Three members coordinated the ordering and pickup of food items from the local Sam’s Club. Several more members unloaded and staged the items for packing. Every member present at our December meeting (94) assisted in individually packing items for delivery to the Athens City schools in January. Each week in January six Rotarians delivered Full Tummy supplies to Athens City schools in need.
Our Rotary Club assisted the Limestone County school system with a Full Tummy project during the spring of 2016 with the very special help of the Birdie Thornton Center. The Birdie Thornton Center in Athens, AL is facility which serves adults with learning or intellectual disabilities. They currently serve over sixty individuals. The center was looking for a project to replace one recently lost due to legislative changes which were designed to protect such individuals from labor abuse. Athens Rotary delivered the County School’s Full Tummy supplies to the Birdie Thornton Center and assisted them with setting up for packing. The center packed the food items over the period of one week. Rotarians then picked up the Full Tummy bags from the Birdie Thornton Center and delivered them to Limestone County Schools all on the same day.
Service Above Self is expressed in so many ways when people who care participate in meeting the needs of others.