Fighting Hunger: Breakfast camps have successful summer
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to two Hokendauqua organizations that have gone all out to support our Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative’s free summer breakfast camps.
First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua, located at 3005 S. Front St., donated a generous $1,000 check. Two of its members, Carol Clancy and Sue Butchinski, were co-chairs at the Coplay camp.
The church’s neighbor, Hokey Firehall, located at 3022 S. Second St., provided a truckload of much-needed food for us.
Both made their donations the end of June when we really needed help. Neither knew about the other’s donation. Both were thrilled to hear that they both helped us. They share a parking lot and work well together.
Hokey Firehall Member Appreciation Day was held June 15. The annual event featured a clam bake/cookout, games and live music provided by Tim Harakal. The main attraction was the Dunk the Bartender fundraiser. Members were able to purchase balls and try their luck at dunking their favorite Hokey Firehall bartenders. All proceeds raised that day were matched 100 percent by the Hokey Firehall to be used to buy food needed to support the Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative’s summer breakfast camps.
In all, the Hokey Firehall, managed by Joey Wildman and Nate Glose, purchased 12 cases of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese single cups, 12 cases of Chef Boyardee single cups, 12 family packs of string cheese, 10 family packs of breakfast bacon, eight family packs of frozen breakfast sausage, 75 dozen eggs, 20 family-size loaves of bread, four family packs of sliced American cheese, five family packs of sliced deli ham and five family packs of sliced deli turkey. All the food was evenly split and delivered June 24 to both the Whitehall and Coplay summer breakfast camp locations.
We had two sites for our summer breakfast camps this year — one at Redeemed Christian Church of God, 5 N. Third St., Coplay, and the other at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 835 Third St., Fullerton. The camps ran 8:30-10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday from June 17 to Aug. 23.
Hot or cold breakfasts were served, followed by a reading session to avoid the summer slide. If children do not read over the summer, research shows their skills diminish. After two summers, they fall behind in school.
The children played games, participated in assorted crafts and activities, planted gardens and took part in many other fun things. At the end of the morning, they were given a nutritious lunch to take home. Each Friday, they received a special bagged lunch that included extra food for the weekend.
As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Our summer breakfast program could not be as successful as it has been the last three years without the support and teamwork of all the community’s involvement, volunteers, food procurement, backpacks, books, games and monetary donations — and, of course, the wonderful children.
You all made the summer camps a joyous experience. Thank you, all!