Letter: You can help fight childhood hunger locally

To the editor:

The Civitan Foundation provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities in the forms of respite/recreational programs, habilitation, and attended care. Our longest running respite/recreational program is Camp Civitan located in Williams. We are a contributing partner with the Arizona Nutrition Network; and at Camp and in our Phoenix respite programs we provide nutrition education classes.

In addition, we offer a weekly habilitation program in our Phoenix office that teaches our participants social skills, job skills, and community living skills. For this program we would like to help build our partnership with the Williams community as well as raise community awareness about childhood hunger.

The goal of this program is to create 25 food baskets to give to the Williams Food Bank. The food bank would then distribute the food baskets to 25 families in conjunction with back to school events. One of the Arizona Nutrition Network messages is to "grow a healthy child." The Civitan Foundation and the Williams Food Bank can help promote that message by putting together a family fun dinner basket. The baskets will include healthy foods for meal preparation, cooking tips and recipes, information on how to involve children in cooking, and family board games. The baskets will not only provide the family with food but will also support family mealtime.

Williams is a rural community with high poverty levels and limited access to resources. The 2008 National School Lunch Program data shows that more than half of the students in the Williams Unified School District qualify for free/reduced lunch rates. By implementing this project the Civitan Foundation will be able to assist families in this community, raise awareness about childhood hunger, and educate our program participants on how they can make a difference in the lives of others.

The wish list for each basket includes: food for two complete meals; one board game; one family DVD; one dessert; one box of popcorn; one DVD; and back to school supplies including pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, etc.

Please submit all donations by Friday, Aug. 7. In the Phoenix community donations can be dropped off at the Civitan Office, 3519 E. Shea No. 133 Phoenix, AZ 85028. In Williams, items can be dropped off at Camp Civitan, 5008 N. Civitan Rd. or at the Thrift Store, 221 W. Railroad Ave. Please contact us with questions at (602) 953-2944. Thank you for your continual support.

Dawn Trapp

Executive Director

Camp Civitan Foundation

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