As we all are aware, the world as we knew it has been topsy turvy with this Covid-19 pandemic virus. With the new school year starting on Monday, August 24th here in Kissimmee Florida of Osceola county U.S.A., the Presentation Brothers Associates have many concerns regarding the feeding of the needy school children. Our Board of Directors has many decisions to make with regards to continue providing food to these children.
In past years we would deliver a two-month supply of non-perishable food to the five schools in our school district during the school year. Each Friday, school volunteers would fill each backpack with enough food for each weekend. The children would carry the backpack home and be responsible to return them on Monday or Tuesday to be eligible for food on Friday. This process has worked well for the last thirteen years but now must change going forward.
Due to the virus, the food supply Aldi store has now placed restricted limits on the amount of food that is allowed for bulk special orders. This, of course, is due to the supply and demand from customers in the food stores. The Associates have discussed this dilemma at our latest isolated ZOOM meeting and have found a solution. Once the school staff identify and enrol the children in Edmund Rice Kids food program, we will be issuing twenty-five-dollar Aldi Supermarket designated (food only) gift cards each month. This will eliminate the need for space to store the food in the schools, purchasing backpacks and the children carrying the heavy backpacks home each week. The families will shop for food that the children may prefer and not what we furnish. We believe this is a wonderful solution to the supply and demand issue at hand. Time will tell if we have reached a good decision for all. We feel this is the direction that Blessed Edmund Rice has provided for the upcoming school year and with prayers, we will succeed.
(Associate member Kissimmee)
The picture of the back of a truck is loaded for food to go to a school for the children to receive a backpack of food each week. We rent a truck for the delivery and Aldi Supermarket makes up the pallets for us
The picture of the two men are Bud Bruno and Rich Sikorski.
The picture of the men seated at the back of the truck from left to right are Rich Sikorsk, Jim Hallos, Ken Zwally and Frank Novak. Most of these men are Knights of Columbus and all but Frank are retired.
The picture with the bags and all the cases of food in the background were packed by Bud who is in the picture and his wife Lou-Ann. They do this every week for one of the schools that are in the program.
The picture with people holding yellow bags with our logo on it is a fundraiser at our church. During one weekend in January, our church allows me to speak at each Mass asking for donations. We ask for $1.00 per person but will gratefully take more than a $1.00.