Lukey Kaempfer Children’s Fund – First Year Successes!

Lukey Kaempfer Children’s Fund 

of

Comfort Food Community

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Established in November, 2016 to honor the life of Lukey Kaempfer and to further the mission of Comfort Food Community, the Lukey Kaempfer Children’s Fund (known fondly in Greenwich as the Lukey Fund) is dedicated to reducing food insecurity, providing educational programs and opportunities, and strengthening the community specifically for children 18 years and younger. Programs such as the YES! Backpack Program, the Greenwich Youth Center nutritious snack program, the Interfaith Food for Kids Summer Lunch Program have all been expanded and strengthened.

 

school backpack

YES! Backpack Program-and Scholarship Opportunities
The YES! Backpack Program provides healthy meals for any student in the Greenwich School District who does not have access to healthy meals over the weekend. Many of these students rely on free or reduced meals at school and need alternatives over the weekends and vacations. Students enrolled in the YES! Program receive a backpack containing 4 healthy meals every Friday as they leave.

With funds from the Lukey Kaempfer Children’s Fund CFC has strengthened DSCN1492the partnership with the School Administration; the Fund is the sole source of scholarship opportunities for student volunteers helping with the program. It helps to provide food for an increased number of backpacks and has enhanced the offerings in each backpack. The result of these efforts is a doubling of students served for the 2017-2018 school year.

 

 

Food For Kids

food for kids

For 6 weeks each summer, the Greenwich community through the Interfaith Council provides a free lunch on the Town Commons every weekday for any child who wishes to attend. Through the Lukey Fund, Comfort Food Community is able to make a significant donation to this effort. A well-established tradition in Greenwich, the Food for Kids free lunch provides a positive social setting for kids to receive a nutritious lunch that some might not find at home. Many of our pantry members attend the Food for Kids program.

 

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The Lukey Fund inspired and fully funded The Summer Garden Program. CFC was able to provide an educational program in our Community Garden for over 100 children in 1st – 6th grade.  The program met for one day a week for 6 weeks and included an enthralling variety of games, educational crafts, and food samples…all designed to connect kids to the earth and the food it supplies.

 

The Lukey Fund supported the program by providing many of the needed supplies and, most importantly, allowed CFC to hire a High School student to assist with the children’s garden program. Our summer intern, Kandice Wilbur, is now a senior at Greenwich High School and comes from a local farming family. She was an indispensable part of kids summer garden program – teaching, leading garden tours, developing a felting project, gleaning from area farms and assisting in providing our pantry services.

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Food for the Greenwich Youth Center

GYC kid eating

 

The Greenwich Youth Center provides a safe and fun place for the Youth 4th – 12th Grade. The Youth Center is open 4 afternoons a week and provides peer tutoring, theater arts, movie nights, healthy eating coaching, boys and girls fun nights, financial learning workshops, safe sitter classes and much more. Kids come right from school and find healthy snacks provided by Comfort Food Community provided in part with support from the Lukey Fund.

 

 

The Greenwich and Cossayuna Food Pantries
Finally, and at our core, Comfort Food Community is committed to providing open-hours food pantry service each and every week for members of the community in need. In September alone, these pantries provided food for 445 individuals in our community; One third of these individuals were children under 18 years of age who otherwise would not have enough food each day. Funds contributed to the Lukey Fund not only help to purchase food for the pantry; they also stock an infants and baby needs assortment such as diapers, bottles, blankets, baby wipes and other necessities.

 

Lukey’s Legacy
The Lukey Fund has made a huge impact in the lives of children in the Greenwich Community.  Future plans include new opportunities to involve youth in food rescue and the mobile fresh food pantry work to spread the impact to other communities. The Lukey Fund is essential to eliminating food insecurity for the youth we serve; providing educational programs in nutrition, cooking, farming, teamwork; and above all to build and strengthen communities.

Lukey Kaempfer portrait

 

 

As Lukey’s mother wrote:

Lukey was lovable and he loved– his family, his friends, animals, the world, the Washington Redskins, and his beloved Chelsea FC soccer team.  He will always be remembered for his passion for life, generosity of spirit, and kindness.”

 

 

 

To donate to the Lukey Kaempfer Children’s Fund and continue this great work, click here. For on-line contributions, the NY Charities page has a field for gift designations – enter Lukey Kaempfer Children’s Fund there. For contributions by check, write Lukey Kaempfer Children’s Fund in the memo line.