Online fundraiser helps feed kids in Walker area

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — With schools closed as part of the effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, the lunchrooms that so many kids depended on for food have gone dark.

So, like other districts, Kenowa Hills Public Schools started packing up and delivering lunches to its students.

“We knew we had Monday through Friday taken care of, but what would we do for the weekends?” John Gilchrist, director of finance at KHPS, said.

Food stacked up in a Kenowa Hills, ready to be packed up and delivered to students. (April 12, 2020)

That’s where’s Feeding Walker Kids comes in. It’s providing weekend lunches for students in the area.

“It’s been really kind of a roller coaster ride,” said Julie Wilson, director of Feeding Walker Kids.

To make it happen, those organizing meals created new school swag for an online fundraiser.

“It blew up. I did not expect this many orders,” said Eddie Tudor, a parent who runs the Kenowa Hills High School Spirit Store. “I think right now we’re sitting at 173 orders and that’s probably 300-plus shirts out.”

The three-day fundraiser has collected more than $3,000, all of it going to providing weekend meals.

“We have seen an increase of about 300 lunches a week, so that’s where the additional funding has just been an incredible blessing to us,” Wilson said.

Between Kenowa Hills Public Schools and Feeding Walker Kids, just under 49,000 meals have been served and that number is expected to skyrocket because of the fundraiser.

“We will easily go over 100,000 meals in the next couple of weeks, which is a very exciting number for us to look at,” Gilchrist said.

There’s still time to help Sunday before the online shop closes at midnight.

“There’s a lot of kids that don’t eat or can’t eat, so helping that out is huge,” Tudor said.