Van Wert Elks Lodge #1197, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks recently donated
$500.00 to the YWCA of Van Wert County. The monies are earmarked towards the
YWCA Summer Food Program. This is the 23 nd year the YWCA has run this important
program. The monies are from a Gratitude Grant the lodge received from the Elks
National Foundation for achieving the required goal of donations at $4.70 per member.
The program includes breakfast and lunch as well as recreational and educational
activities. While during the school year, free and reduced-price breakfast and lunches
through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs provide nutritional
food for area children, the Summer Food Program aims to fill in the gap between the end
of classes and the beginning of the next school year. During the eight weeks of the
program last year the YWCA served over 20,000 meals to 340 children of Van Wert
County. This year the YWCA expects to see 400 participants and serve more than
In previous years, the program has been free for all participants. Due to the increasing
operating costs expected, the YWCA is asking for a nominal donation for the recreational
portion per family. Since some families can not afford to make this donation, the monies
donated by Van Wert Lodge will help to feed these children.
Van Wert Elks Lodge is happy to be able to assist the YWCA with this important
Pictured left to right are Jenna Weigle, Summer Food Program and Mike Stanley, Van Wert Lodge's Elks National Foundation Chairman along with some of the campers.