Some LEUSD Kids Going Hungry On Weekends

Local groups are working to feed schoolchildren who don't get enough to eat.

On Feb. 22, more than 50 volunteers met in the Culinary Cafeteria at Lakeside High School to prepare about 10,800 meals that will be distributed to selected students who return to school on Mondays hungry as a result of not eating over the weekend. 

A pilot program is being started by the Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore, Lake Elsinore Unified School District, H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People in Elsinore) and Planet Youth to send home food in backpacks over the next 12 Fridays with 50 students in need at one of the local elementary schools. 

The program is called Backpacks for Kids. The program is being funded by Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore along with a grant obtained from Rotary International, generous donations from the H.O.P.E. program, and volunteer assistance from Planet Youth.

The backpacks will be filled with a nutritionally balanced rice casserole created by chefs at the Kids Against Hunger program (www.KidsAgainstHunger.org). Each prepared packet will provide a meal for up to six individuals. The backpacks will also be filled with food products from H.O.P.E., which will include cereal, protein drinks, string cheese, and many other small items. 

“We are excited to get the program started and see these students thrive at school, and not defeated by hunger,” said Warren Stephenson, coordinator for the program and member of the Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore.

The program began on Friday, March 2nd and will continue for the next 12 weeks until the end of the school term. –Bonnie Woodrome

justme March 03, 2012 at 11:03 PM
This is such a double edged sword. While you want to help those in need at the same time you have Tue tools that abuse the system. What people tend to miss are the true victims in all of this...the kids. They have no control over picking responsible parents, they have to accept the hand that was dealt to them. It isn't fair, but if someone can step forward and help a needy child it is always worth it. I give my cash I have to homeless all the time or buy them dinner or some groceries. Only one time did I feel taken advantage of and that was a couple saying they ran out of gas so I gave them money for gas to get home. Two days later they were back on the same corner with the same story. You have to help those in need, wouldn't you want someone to help you if you ever were in their situation? I would like to think/say that my family would never be like that but one cannot ever be 100% certain. Life gives you lemons and you can't always be ready to make lemonade as life typically does not send out a memo beforehand forewarning that a storm is coming. Sorry if there are any typos, typing this on my phone and my touch screen keyboard likes to mess with me at times lol
Brad March 03, 2012 at 11:12 PM
A good way to avoid those scams is to just have the guts to outright tell those people who have "run out of gas" they shouldn't of gone somewhere they knew they didn't have the money to get home. They don't have emergency credit cards for a reason and it's always due to previous life decisions, again not your problem. Same goes for the people who ask to use your cell phone out in public. I always tell those people no as well. If they can't get a NET10 prepaid phone from Walmart for $30 (that comes with airtime) then they need to start making better life choices. These people don't even ask if they can use your phone, they ask IF you HAVE a phone. I tell them... that's none of your business.
Diana March 04, 2012 at 12:56 AM
If the Rotary and H.O.P.E want to reach out to these kids and see that they are fed what right to we have to slam them for their efforts. The Rotary is a great organization that reaches out to the kids in the community in different ways and helps, I also think that they donate to The Original Christmas Tree Lane every year, the proceeds from this event are split several ways to help the kids. If organizations and churches want to reach out who are we to say anything bad about that.
Ken Mayes March 04, 2012 at 02:02 AM
12 Fridays with 50 students in need at one of the local elementary schools. How does this equal 10,800 meals. Who is getting the other 10,200 meals.
Tonto March 04, 2012 at 02:19 AM
all right fine. But if they see a fat one they shouldn't give em any more food :)
Mike Norkin March 04, 2012 at 04:39 PM
What an interesting discussion you all are having. As a current Lake Elsinore Rotarian, and someone who worked on this committee and personally packaged food during this day, it is really disheartening reading all the negative comments by people who dont know who or what Rotary is, and why we do the things that we do. Regardless of political motivations, affiliations etc, Rotary chooses to help anybody, anywhere, anytime. Our motto is "Service Above Self". If we can help just one kid, out of the 50 backpacks were making, then our goal is accomplished, although we will help many more than that. Additionally, you have no idea who the families will be and whether or not they are illegal. Like I said, we are aiming to make a difference in peoples lives, something Rotary has been doing for over 100 years, and the Lake Elsinore Rotary has been doing for over 50. While I always welcome a lively discussion, Id request before you start making negative comments, that you at least take time time to learn what your commenting on. By the way, the "fat students" your referring to, those were 50 volunteer kids from Lakeside High School who gave up 3 hours of their day to prepare these packages. Imagine the hurt in their hearts when they sign on to read the story of their good work only to see the comments being written. Nothing is perfect in our world, Rotarians dont pretend that it is. But at least we try to do something about it, and we put our money where our mouth is.
Tom Thomas March 04, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thank you Mike Norkin. As fellow Rotarians we appreciate your comments. We are proud of what Rotarians do around the world. Whether it be working to eradicate polio, bringing clean water to 3rd world countries, sponsor foreign exchange students, offer youth leadership camps around the world, provide Lake Elsinore students scholarships, celebrate local teachers and more. Yes - we do put our money where our mouths are. The 1.2 million Rotarians around the world donate millions of dollars and millions of volunteer hours every year and have since 1905! We're teaching the value of community service to our high school students via Rotary's Interact Clubs. We invite "bloggers without knowledge" to visit our Wednesday morning Rotary meetings in Lake Elsinore. They will quickly see why Rotarians are "ordinary people doing extraordinary things" when we work together. Tom and Dee Thomas
Dave Russell March 04, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Oh for Pete's sake, folks. These are kids we are talking about. Kids who are truly hungry every day because of circumstances way beyond their control. Pull your heads out of your "Welfare Queen" clouds of arrogance and show a little compassion here. These good people are doing this act of charity and kindness because it is the right thing to do because it is kids! Good Lord! Matthew 25:45 "And he will answer, 'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.' (NLT, 2007)
Dave Russell March 04, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Tonto - Obese poor kids are obese because it is cheaper to eat Twinkies and Doritos than it is to eat meat and whole grains.
Tonto March 04, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Ok, fine. If the fat kids getting food get diabetes in on you heros :(
Dog March 04, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Sounds like Mike Tom and Dave are Rotary Club members that made a mistake and unable to admit it, again, where are all these hungry children with food stamps and several weekly free food givaways from local churches, why is the Rotary Club giving their donations to a international company from back east, something stinks here and its not just their 23 cent cassaroles w/fruit juice...
Tonto March 04, 2012 at 11:49 PM
"its on you heros" will you fix the dam spell check or editing or whatever?
Dave Russell March 05, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Hey Dog - it sounds like "Mike Tom and Dave are Rotary Club members" is pure conjecture on your part and based on your need to consolidate and clump people into a group so you can take a cheap one-shot toward any enemy you can create in your fantasy world. What stinks is the immoral stance of so many people who posted on this page take as they project an image where they would just as soon kick a starving child in the head as offer any crumb off their plate. Be careful what you wish for folks. Some day it may be your sister, or child, or mother out there looking for the compassion and generosity of others. Your inhumane contempt for kids projects an image that this area is full of hateful selfish immature elitist snobs! Shame on you!
Dog March 05, 2012 at 12:45 AM
mmmmm...sounds like I touched a nerve with one of the ringleaders of this scam...
Mike Norkin March 05, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Hey Dog... You know what the beauty of Rotary is? The fact that even though you may type such hateful and vindictive comments, Rotary would still take care of you and your family. You may say what you want, and others may read these blogs and even believe it, but Rotarians know the true feeling of helping other people, and regardless of the hateful rhetoric displayed on this blog, Rotarians will continue to help people day in and day out, because it is the right thing to do. I wont answer any more replies, I just wanted to make sure the good people who do read these blogs know that there is another side. I hope DOG or any one of you never need to rely on the help of the Rotary club.
Tom Thomas March 05, 2012 at 02:01 AM
This too will be my last comment. Dog - just for clarity.......The thousands of Rotary clubs around the world (in 200 countries) are all part of Rotary International which is headquartered in Evanston Il. Rotary Int'l and its entire membership is a non-profit organization that operates worldwide. The thousands of Rotary clubs around the world donate to Rotary and then funds are distributed by means of community service projects all over the world including the United States. Rotary is so respected for its world efforts, that Bill Gates gave us 250 million dollars to assist us in eradicating polio in the remaining countries that still had/has that dreaded disease. Oh - one thing - we had five years to match the 250 million. Rotarians throughout the world were so generous that we matched it in less than 4 years. Tom Thomas
not your business March 05, 2012 at 02:40 AM
oh Tom - Bill Gates?! I think you had better do some serious study into that mans family history - and be very careful of the "wonderful" vaccines he helps to distribute. I applaud the giving and serving hearts of the rotarians - BUT you are being used and don't even realize it....
Roberto March 05, 2012 at 02:47 AM
This has got to be the strangest thread. If someone wants to do charity work, more power to them. The world needs more charity and a whole lot less giverment.
Gema Garcia March 05, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Where is the parent's responsability in all of this?! Really? Now we are going to feed kids on the weekends? I don't expect the neighborhood and school district to feed my kids! This is why some of us parents work two jobs to put food on the table! Stop making babies if you can't take care of them, people!!!!!
Brad March 05, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Contraceptives are against the Catholic religion
Dog March 05, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Check out their site at the crap their trying to force our "starving" children to eat, 6 pre-packaged rice cassaroles they have to boil before eating, what kids going to eat this 6 times a weekend 10 weeks in a row. This is nothing but one of those "charities" that keep 85% of donations for administative costs, bet a couple people at the Rotarty Club will get a vatcation out of this scam, again, this has nothing to do with starving children in Lake Elisnore...there are none
Alex March 05, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I am not a Rotarian nor a partner or a contributor to this program, just a local citizen working hard for a living. Hunger is one of the worst feelings a human can have, the fact that there is a compassionate organization out there that is funded by donations from local business and partners and has VOLUNTEERS to put in the time to help feed hungry students is a GOOD thing people. This is not costing Dog, Brad, tonto or anyone money from their pocket so why the negativity and hatred? Yes, there will always be people that receive the benefit of something for free when they really don't qualify or need it because that is just the way it is. That doesn't make the generosity and compassion of any program that does this negative. Some families are not fortunate enough to put enough food on the table and with the rising cost of gasoline, a struggling economy things don't look to get better soon. I would rather see a program like this HERE in our community feeding our local students in need then to see the help go out of our country. I would rather see students donating their time to do something potentially useful and compassionate rather then out on the street 'tagging' walls or vandalizing. Many of us have it in us to donate to a good cause or desire to help in some way but we lack the time to do it. Must we criticize those who do take the initiative. If you don't like this program and what it is doing. . . spend YOUR time creating a better solution!
Ron Hewison March 05, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Brad, I would be happy to explain our programs and the Backpacks program to you. Just give me a call at (951) 285 1354 and we can arrange to meet, either at the pantry or at one of our weekend distributions.
Tonto March 05, 2012 at 10:57 PM
If the Rotarians would focus on childhood obesity which is an epidemic in our Country that would help too. There are far more overweight kids by a long shot then a few who are hungry. Look around.
Diana March 05, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Are you people kidding me.........I agree with Roberto this is the strangest blog that has hit the patch.........what is wrong with you people? It's charity, how dare anyone chastise an organization that is reaching out to the community to help little kids. Who cares why they are hungry, they are hungry and if the Rotary Club is generous enough to step forward with anything to satisfy their hunger they should be commended....................are you kidding me, I cannot believe that anyone would say the cruel things that they are saying against them.......honestly do you really want to be that guy?????????? Not to mention be ignorant to post it for all to see.............
Tonto March 05, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Duley noted. There are no obease kids being fed. Fine.
Bobby Maggit March 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Isn't Mike Norkin that chubby photographer that runs around at the storm games? and Tom Thomas is the free loader boardmember that we have been reading about. I think Norkin is the one who lost the city election three times and even once ran with one of the best councilmembers of our time Mr. Hickman? I wonder how many times they stuffed their mouths when the were making those packages? Bring the buses back you nimrods boardmembers, our kids don't deserve this treatment. I will be there to support our bus drivers this Wednesday!!!!
mike April 27, 2012 at 01:20 AM
We care why they are hungry. What happens when the Rotary moves on. These kids situations have not changed. They are still not being feed by their parents. How many of these kids homes have been looked into. Not feeding YOUR child is a HUGE sign of neglect. By giving these goods rather then fixing the problem only propels it along. I find it a bigger shame that they would just hand over food to a hungry child day in and day out, all while knowing that neglect is happening at home and doing nothing about it.
mike April 27, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Really? I miss how this is a value to the community. I really do. The old saying "Give a person a fish......" Your just giving the family a fish. Teach them, find out why they are going hungry. Seems pointless to throw money/food at a situation when you have no idea the cause or the duration. These kids are already hungry. How do you even know that their parents wont take it form them and keep for them self? Creating a community all right, but not the type I want to be a part. What do we expect from parents if not to at least feed their kids?
Mr. Lada April 27, 2012 at 05:06 AM
These food packets are being sold at yard/garage sales all over LE and Lakeland. Nobody wants to eat these same meal week in and week out. There are nails and hair to be did by the mamas and aunties and cigs and tequila to be purchased by all.


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