In June, the WiNS Project completed its sixth year of providing weekend nutrition bags to elementary students in Crawford Central School District. This year we were able to provide weekend food to over 400 children for about 30 weeks. WiNS is totally funded through grants and generous monetary donations from individuals and local businesses.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused shutdowns, we were faced with challenges. However, many people stepped up and we finished the school year very successfully. The First Presbyterian Church of Meadville graciously opened its doors to us so that we could set up our packing operation there while the school district buildings were closed. Many new volunteers offered to help us pack and deliver the bags since they found themselves with time on their hands as their jobs were on hold. Some folks made masks and asked for food donations for WiNS in lieu of payment. We received many monetary donations from people who had not donated before as well as additional donations from regular donors. Capt. Michelle Miller from the Meadville Salvation Army pledged financial support. The Save A Lot store was very dedicated to filling our order each week — even when supplies were being rationed.
Our basic group of dedicated volunteers is invaluable to our operation. The additional help from so many people and organizations helped us weather the last tumultuous months of the 2019-2020 school year. Thank you to everyone who helped us feed hungry kids!
Editor's note: Malone is a member of the WiNS Project board.