WESTFIELD – The Westfield Boys and Girls club received a donation from the Eos Foundation, on May 6 to help expand the club’s ongoing meal service for children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic the Westfield Boys and Girls club has been offering almost 400 free dinners per day Monday through Friday at five different locations including the Club itself, Colonial Pine Acres, Franklin Avenue Elementary, Powdermill Village Apartments, and Edgewood Apartments.
Bo Sullivan, the chief advancement officer with the club, said that the $8,293 donation from the Eos Foundation went directly into purchasing weekend backpacks for students. He explained that these backpacks go with the meals given out on Fridays and include breakfast and lunch for Saturday and Sunday.
He said the Eos Foundation originally reached out to the club to see what they could do to help with the meal service. He said, “It really shows the support from the community, they reached out and asked how to help and Bill Parks said this was the best way to do so.”
In order to maintain social distancing guidelines, CEO Bill Parks said that parents and guardians are not required to bring their children and do not have to be a member to pick up a meal.
“We want everyone to know that these healthy meals are available to every child, from young children to young adults,” he said, “You don’t have to be a club member to receive them. In fact, parents and caregivers can pick up meals on their behalf to help ensure safe social distancing.”
However, Sullivan said that these backpacks are in a limited supply when residents come to pick them up on Fridays. “We have a limited supply of the backpacks. On Friday we had about 200 prepared and we ran out of them in 45 minutes,” he said.
In a press release, Andrea Silbert, the president of the Eos Foundation said, “We are proud to support the great work of Boys Girls Club’s CEO Bill Parks and his team. They are front-lines heroes, ensuring the distribution of nutritious meals for children at this unprecedented time.”