Woman’s Club partners with FoodBank

Published 9:52 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

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Mischelle Goodman

Karen Beale


The Woman’s Club of Windsor has again entered into a partnership agreement with the FoodBank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore for the BackPack Program at Windsor Elementary for the 2018-2019 school year.

The club and FoodBank began this in the 2017-2018 school year. Under the original agreement, the club agreed to provide funding to establish and maintain a BackPack Program at Windsor Elementary School, in which 50 children were provided a backpack of food to be taken home every other Friday during the school year.

The ongoing success of the Run Through the Heart has enabled the club to increase the funding to provide backpacks to 60 children.

The Woman’s Club of Windsor raises the funds for this program through it’s Run Through the Heart 5K run held each year in Windsor. The Run was started in 2016 when Kim Garrett, head of the club’s Ways and Means Committee teamed up with Mischelle Goodman, owner of the Anytime Fitness in Windsor.

Their objective was to create an event within the town of Windsor that promoted the health of the residents and participants while raising money for a local project. In 2017, with childhood hunger as a top concern, Garrett and Goodman — with the support of The Woman’s Club of Windsor — worked with Debbie Kleeger, nutrition manager at the FoodBank, and settled on a plan to partner with the FoodBank to bring their nationwide BackPack program to Windsor Elementary School.

Under the partnership agreement, the club provides the funding for the program and the FoodBank provides the food and supplies for the backpacks. Each month of the school year, the FoodBank delivers the food and supplies to the Keurig Green Mountain location in Windsor.

“Keurig Green Mountain has been a big supporter of the program since the beginning,” said Goodman. “They unload the truck, give us a secure room that meets the FoodBank requirements to store the food, they let us use their conference/training room to pack the bags each month and their employees are always there to help us with whatever we need.”

The club members meet monthly to assemble the bags for the month, and then deliver them to the elementary school for distribution every other week.

Ellen Couch, principal of Windsor Elementary, oversees the school’s responsibilities under the program. With the help of Marcie Cholewinski and other school staff, they identify students that would benefit from the FoodBank BackPack program, get the required paperwork completed and filed and distribute the actual backpacks of food every other Friday.

Goodman is excited about the future of the club and the project.

“I had to be a part of this amazing organization, these ladies have an extraordinary impact on their community and beyond through this project and the many others that they undertake,” she said.

The Woman’s Club of Windsor hopes to grow the Run Through the Heart event and, in turn, expand the project to serve additional children at Windsor Elementary and expand to other local schools such as Carrsville Elementary and Georgie Tyler Middle School. The next run will be on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Additional information can be found at RunThroughtheHeart.com.

The Woman’s Club of Windsor was founded in 1930 and is part of Virginia’s Southside District of The General Federation of Women’s Clubs(gfwc.org,) which is an international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. More information about the Club and their projects can be found on their website at www.womansclubofwindsorva.org; on their Facebook page; or by emailing info@womansclubofwindsorva.org.

MISCHELLE GOODMAN is treasurer of the Woman’s Club of Windsor. Karen Beale is president of the Woman’s Club of Windsor.