Grayling Lions Club helps Viking Pantries start off the school year with donations
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The Grayling Lions Club made donations to the Viking Pantries housed at each school in the community to kick off the school year and provide food and needed items to students.
Members of the Grayling Lions Club met with school representatives on Tuesday, August 27, to present donations to support the food pantries.
The Grayling High School, Grayling Middle School, and Grayling Middle School were each given $200 in order to purchase items for the food pantries as the traditional school year gets underway this week.
“We just like to help the community,” said Carolyn Rakoczy, the president of the Grayling Lions Club. “That’s what we’re all about.”
Instead of buying food, hygiene items or cleaning supplies, Grayling Lions Club gave the donations to those who manage the pantries to decide how the money will be spent.
“It’s just one more place that needs the money to stock their pantries for the kids,” Rakoczy said. “You want to help the kids always.”
Teresa Bonamie, a secretary in the Grayling High School’s counseling office, said the donations will allow the pantries to get more bang for the buck. By purchasing food from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, the pantries can get $6 worth of food for every dollar donated.
“When we get a cash donation, we can purchase from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan where we can get so much more for the dollar compared to what we can get going to a traditional store,” Bonamie said. “I can really stretch this further than what anybody else can do, so the purchasing power is significant.”
Ann Malm, the secretary for the principal at the Grayling Middle School, said the donations will especially help when purchasing non-perishable food items.
The Grayling Elementary School and Grayling Middle School recently received grants from District Health Department #10 to purchase refrigerators and freezers for the food pantries in those schools.
“This is a great thing,” Malm said. “Two hundred dollars is going to go a long way.”
Samantha Rogers, the school nurse at the Grayling Elementary School, said school leaders are appreciative for the help in meeting the needs of students and their families.
“We’re thankful to the Grayling Lions Club for donating this and any other community members that donate,” Rogers said. “It’s always a help.”
The Grayling Lions Club had a long established program to provide scholarships to Grayling High School graduates.
Rakoczy said the organization is always available to extend a hand to support the students.
“If they need some help along the way, they can call on us,” she said.
Bonamie said that school officials credit community organizations and individuals who have helped put food on the table for students in need.
“It’s always nice to have the support of these organization that do good things in the community and to know that they’re watching out for us,” she said.
For more information regarding the Grayling Lions Club or to make donations to causes the club supports, contact vice president Craig Stewart at (989) 745-3787.