Throughout the week, campers aged 20 months through 8th grade raised money in a myriad of ways, including a dance-a-thon, swim-a-thon, bake sale, art auction and car washes. A group of campers even picked up instruments and joined a traveling Mariachi band to play music for donations.
In past years, campers have typically raised about $1,000.
Julie Hollander, JCC Summer Camp Director who created Caring and Sharing Week, said the mission of feeding the hungry truly resonated with campers this year, especially with ones who remembered participating in Caring and Sharing Week before.
“You could tell they made a strong connection to the mission this year, they were very committed and motivated to work hard for those in need,” Hollander said.
Eileen Meyer Renco and her daughter, Emily, accepted the check on behalf of her parents, Janet and Sonny Meyer, who established the food pantry’s fund about five years ago. (Photo at left.) Emily, was a camper this summer. “It’s absolutely incredible the kids have done so much to help the food pantry,” Renco said. “My parents are thrilled.”
The pantry, which is a part of the Dare to Care program, feeds between 130 and 170 people a month. Summer is its peak time of need as many children no longer have access to their school’s free or reduced lunches. The money will be used to purchase foods to augment donated goods.
Each Thursday, JCC campers have also been collecting canned and dry goods and have donated hundreds of pounds, much of it kid-friendly foods, said Kim Toebbe, JFCS’s volunteer coordinator.