Weekend on Wheels
In a school district where approximately 40% of the student population qualify for free or reduced lunch prices, it begs the question of what families can afford to feed children when they are not in school. For some students, the last meal of the week comes on Friday in the form of a government-aided free lunch from the school’s cafeteria.
To combat this problem, the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District created Weekend on Wheels (WOW). Each weekend throughout the school year, MRH students and staff prepare nutritious food packages to support MRH families in need.
The district-wide WOW Steering Committee is comprised of high school student interns and MRH staff from each of the District’s schools. In order to continue our weekly support services, the WOW Steering Committee develops fundraising strategies, organizes food drives, and works with local businesses and faith organizations to secure donations for families in need within our community.
WOW is an entirely donations based program. Nonperishable food items are donated by the local faith community, neighboring school communities, and MRH families and community members. WOW also receives weekly bread donations through Panera Cares. Business partners across the St. Louis area, as well as other area school districts, donate boxes used for weekend food package deliveries.
WOW has supported approximately 96 families since 2012, sending home approximately 1,440 boxes of food each school year. Each WOW box has an estimated value of $50.
Monetary donations are primarily applied to the purchase of grocery cards, used to support families during extended breaks from school. The amount needed to fund this annual support typically runs between $11,100 - $15,000.