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May 17, 2017

Rotary Clubs Donate to St. Martin School Feeding Program

The Saint Martin De Porres Parish received a twenty-five-thousand-dollar cheque from Rotary. Today, visiting Rotarians from Houston Texas and local Rotarians went to visit the School and handed over the cheque. The money will be invested in the school’s feeding program which assists more than eighty children. News Five’s Andrea Polanco has more on this donation.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Saint Martin De Porres School Feeding Program received twenty-five thousand dollars from the Rotary Club of Belize and Rotary Club of West-U from Houston, Texas. The money is expected to be used over the duration of a year to purchase food for the children.

 

Jack Wallace

Jack Wallace, Rotary Club of West-U, Houston, Texas

“We have a flag program in Houston, Texas where we put up flags around the residential area and we net almost a hundred thousand dollars a year out of this one project and we put in flags four times a year  so that is where most of the money comes from and we also have a golf tournament. So we have a big international budget and I have been down to Belize – this is my seventh trip down here and we have done a whole lot to help Belize through our rotary club.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How did you decide that the monies this time is going to the feeding programme?”

 

Jack Wallace

“We came down here and we asked the Rotary Club what project do they want to do the most and they said we want to feed the kid and they showed us the project and we said that is fine we are honored to help.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How important is that you make these kinds of investments, especially in children?”

 

Jack Wallace

“Well, it is very important because when you come and see the wonders that Father Matt does here and when you walk around and see all the kids running up to him and hugging him. And we understand that importance that a lot of these kids would not have the nourishment in the meals they need without this program, so that is why we are glad to do it.”

 

Barry Nowlin

Barry Nowlin, President, Rotary Club of Belize

“We have seen how the work we’ve done financially and physically has helped improve on the school; improve the condition for the children. Feeding to help those who need assistance, so we feel like the continued effort is merited because we feel like this is a sustainable program and as we go forward we are looking to expand on that effort so that we can try to bring greater impact to the school and to the children of Belize. So, we are hoping this becomes a model with how we help with education.”

 

The School Feeding Program was set up to assist students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to eat a meal during the day at school. They are served breakfast, lunch and snacks from out of this facility on the school grounds. Father Matt Ruhl tells us why it was important to provide this service for the students.

 

Matthew Ruhl

Father Matthew Ruhl, St. Martin De Porres Parish

“We benefit probably somewhere between eighty to one hundred kids and we feed – we do breakfast, lunches and snacks for kids from all ages. It is one of the first things when I arrived at Saint Martin’s was that so many of our kids are coming here hungry, so if you are hungry, you are not going to learn. And so, we boosted this program and Rotary came in right behind us and said, you know what, that is a good thing and they are gonna help us. And God bless Rotary because all kids- we don’t have any hungry children now and that is a blessing.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And these are children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a meal?”

 

Father Matthew Ruhl

“That is correct. These are children who would come to school hungry and would be very listless during the day.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You are getting twenty five thousand dollars; how are you investing it in the program? Is it for like equipment or is for food?”

 

Father Matthew Ruhl

“At this point it is all food. It is all going for the breakfast, lunches and the snacks. Yeah and then if Rotary and Martin’s continue this relationship, there is talk of doing some upgrades on the kitchen itself. So, I gotta say, Rotary has been very, very good; very good to us.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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