All four Rotary clubs of Juneau are applying together for a grant to fund "Feeding Juneau's Future" - a weekend backpack food program. Additionally, all four Juneau Rotary clubs will provide volunteer service during the 2022-2023 school year. Each club will contribute funds and provide volunteer service. We also hope to engage the Interact high school students in the service work.
In total the four Juneau Rotary clubs will contribute $16,000 and are requesting matching District Grant Funds of $16,000. Please note that although the District Grant request of $16,000 is a fairly large ask, it would otherwise be four modest DDF grant fund requests, but with four times the administrative work on the club side and for the district.
Feeding Juneau's Future is a program which provides food each weekend during the school year for students throughout the Juneau School District. This program is in its eighth year of providing weekend food to Gastineau Elementary School and the seventh year of serving the entire Juneau School District. The program is currently serving 450 to 490 students each week.
The program is administered by the Douglas Community United Methodist Church, where individuals, paid and volunteer, are committed to meeting the needs of food-insecure students in the Juneau School District. Weekly, the volunteers and workers shop for food, take the food to a storage unit, pack the bags, and deliver the bags to the schools throughout the district.
Students who are food insecure are identified by staff at each school and students are then provided a bag of food for the weekend. Two days of easily prepared shelf-stable food is provided. Food is delivered to the schools each week by the program and distributed to students by the school counselor's office. School staff have said that children who are not hungry are more attentive and less disruptive in the classroom because they do not have to worry about when they will next eat.
The Glacier Valley Rotary Club will initiate project organization and be responsible for the grant reporting. The four clubs will work together on a volunteer schedule that accommodates the needs of the food program.
The Douglas Community United Methodist Church has estimated the program's annual expenses at $39,868.
The four Rotary clubs of Juneau will contribute funding to the Feeding Juneau's Future Program as follows:
Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary $5,000
Juneau Gastineau Rotary $5,000
Juneau "Downtown" Rotary $5,000
Juneau 58º Innovators $1,000
Total club funds $16,000
Requested Matching Grant $16,000
All DDF funds received plus the pledged club contributions will be paid to the Feeding Juneau's Future Program at the beginning of the 2022/2023 school year.
The four clubs will work with the Feeding Juneau's Future program coordinator to provide volunteer services (including volunteers from the high school Interact Clubs) periodically throughout the school year. The goal is to develop a volunteer schedule prior to the beginning of the school year.
The participation rates of each club will vary, but the goal is to engage as many Rotarians as possible, with a minimum involvement of 30% of membership for each club.
The program coordinator for Feeding Juneau's Future told us that any amount of service work will be helpful, and gave us the following examples:
Just three people for one hour a week, totaling 3 hours of volunteer time, could accomplish the shopping and shelf stocking in the storage unit. Three volunteers for one hour a week could pack 100 bags. Volunteers could also deliver the bags to the schools.