The Ely Times

Hunger doesn’t take a vacation, and for many local youth once the school year has ended they are faced with finding a way to replace the free or reduced meals they would receive throughout the school year.  Instead they face sparse cupboards, empty fridges, and limited meals.  

The Boys & Girls Club of White Pine decided to face childhood hunger head on this summer. Samantha Elliott, area coordinator, explains the creative partnership between the Boys & Girls Club and Chartwells to ensure every child has a hunger-free summer.  

Elliott said, “this past school year we were not able to serve meals. We served a snack, typically a granola bar or nutragrain bar. With just snacks we served about 50 a day to members.”

This year will be different. The Boys & Girls Club will be serving breakfast and lunch daily throughout the summer. Elliott noted that children don’t even need to be a member.  

Jake Culbert, director of Dining Services for Chartwells, explains how the program is federally funded through the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Chartwells is the fifth largest company in the world, and has been in Ely for about five years now as a contract food service provider for all of the schools in the White Pine County School district, with the exception of the Learning Bridge Charter School.  

“We’re very excited about this, we feed people, it’s what we do, and to have the opportunity to make a bigger impact on the community by feeding the kids in need, is a wonderful thing,” Culbert said. 

The meals will begin June 10 and be available until Aug. 23 at the White Pine Middle School. Breakfast will be served from 8:30-9 a.m. and lunch will be served from noon – 1 p.m. It is anticipated they will feed more than 80 meals per meal, each day.  

Elliott said, “Our reason for starting the food program in Ely is to really reach out and help meet those basic needs that some children don’t have. When kids have a full tummy, they can have fun and focus. They can truly be kids.”  

For more information, or if you would like to help out, please contact Elliott at selliott@bgctm.org or 775-318-0800.