The Coastal Georgetown branch of the American Association of University Women in pre-COVID times held monthlyluncheon meetings. When these enjoyable and informative get-togethers switched to Zoom meetings, the membership established an initiative of Hungry Kids – Hungry Minds, partnering with the Community Resource Center in Rehoboth Beach.
Chapter members are donating their former lunch money to the Community Resource Center to purchase grocery gift cards, and their website has a designated button for donations to this cause.
Glenda Risch, policy committee chair, said, “The Hungry Kids – Hungry Minds initiative recognizes the need of many families with schoolchildren who are food insecure. Research has shown hungry children have more difficulty learning.”
The eastern Sussex County AAUW chapter is part of a national organization founded in 1881 to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. The activities of this 100-member branch center on fundraising to support scholarships for Sussex County girls and women as well as statewide educational legislative proposals.
Coastal Georgetown AAUW members also volunteer with the Community Resource Center. CRC Director Jo Allegro-Smith said, “We live in a fairly affluent area; the Cape Region is known as a retirement community and resort destination, so the idea that some members of the community, especially children, go to bed hungry may surprise some. For over a decade, we have been here to help families in need, but with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen many more people turning to CRC to serve as a safety net. There are astronomical numbers of people throughout the U.S., as well as right here in our community, who are hungry and need food. Children, in particular, are very vulnerable to the stressors that hunger causes. It can affect their ability to learn and their overall well-being not only today, but can potentially cause future health problems.”
Allegro-Smith said she has seen the community step up and care for their neighbors during this difficult time, and this kindness means so much to people who are struggling. “We live in a truly generous community,” she said.
The mission of the Community Resource Center is with dignity and respect to help individuals and families get to the next step toward self-sufficiency and stability. The CRC accomplishes this through food rescue, helping the homeless, financial stability and a baby pantry.
For Coastal Georgetown AAUW membership information, contact Karen Fischer, membership vice president, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the chapter, go to georgetown-de.aauw.net/. To donate to Community Resource Center, go to rehobothcommunitycenter.org.