POSTED: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 1:52pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 10:02am
EL PASO- For the entire school year, underprivileged students at a West El Paso elementary school are getting a helping hand from members of the Junior League. As part of the "Food for Kids with a KIK" program the organization provides food and snacks for kids to take home for the weekend.
A long line of students at Roberts Elementary in West El Paso lined up outside of a portable, anxiously wait to go inside. "They always say, 'I can't wait ‘til Friday to get some healthy foods'," said third-grader Aliyha.
What they get every single Friday are bags filled with food and snacks through a Junior League program called "Food for Kids with a Kick".
"This is a project to provide weekend supplemental nutrition to the children while empowering to live a healthy lifestyle," says Rosalinda Lozano.
Aliyha is one of the 200 students who get to take a food bag home. "I sometimes share with my grandma and my brother and my sister," said Aliyha.
"I think it's very nice that they help us grow and make us healthy and grow stronger,” said third-grader Kaylea Valencia.
Principal Cindy Donnelly is thankful that the Junior League chose to help Roberts Elementary students with the food bags for the entire school year. "We are a west side school that has more of a demographic in characteristic with the south side schools. We have a high percentage of socio-economic students," said Donnelly.
Besides handing out the bags of food, the ladies from the Junior League also teach kids skills they'll use their whole life. "And then we come once a month for a presentation on different topics like oral hygiene, the food pyramid or now the food plate, safety," said Rosalinda Lozano, the committee chair for Food for Kids with a KIK.
The Junior League funds this program, along with seven of its other community-service projects, through fundraisers. "Our main fundraiser every year is the Christmas fair, and projects like these shows those Christmas fair dollars at work. One hundred percent of the money we raise at Christmas fair goes back to our community through our community projects," said Junior League President Chantel Crews Ancell.
The various projects help different demographics in our area. And this program in particular is hoping to have an effect on how the students do in school. "I think it's making an impact and we hopefully want to see an impact in their attendance and their grades at the end of the year," said Rosalinda.
Crews Ancell says attending the Christmas fair is the perfect way to support an organization that does so much for our community and get your holiday shopping done. "Every year, we have people come to the Christmas fair because it kicks off the holiday season. It is the first holiday bazaar, market in El Paso and it's a tradition," said Chantel.
A tradition that the Junior League hopes continues to grow, so they can help more children like the ones at Roberts Elementary. "I really like them coming over here and giving us really healthy stuff," said Aliyha.
If you'd like to attend the Christmas fair, it's being held at the El Paso Convention Center from November 4th through the 6th. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $7 for children, seniors and military.
For more information, visit www.jlep.org .