Stop by the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, and you will be greeted by dozens of smiling faces. Why? Well, the After School Program at the Club is a place where a kid can be a kid. Over the last eleven years, the Teddy Bear Suite has raised more than $318,000 for the program. Our attention is now focused solely on food. The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser supports Beyond The School Bell (a program that was originally called Healthy Happy Kids when it launched) which is the core Food Security and safety net program that is making a real difference for hundreds of island kids and their families.
Each week, hundreds of Island kids spend their afternoons at the Club. Here, they can play with their friends, play in the gym, participate in homework club, get creative in the art room, and much more.
One of the most crucial programs provided at the Club after school is its Healthy Happy Kids. Point B is the founding sponsor for this core food security program. Every day after school, the Club is providing about 240 prepared meals and snacks. Over the course of a week, that averages out to around 1,200 meals and snacks.
Over the last year, the Club has provided 50,000 prepared meals and snacks to members and families.
Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser Supports Healthy Happy Kids
Healthy Happy Kids was launched in 2016, and the Club has been a better place ever since. The vital food program and its offerings have grown and increased ever since then. Beyond The School Bell has expanded that original program to now include meals to go, rescued and repurposed food from island grocery stores and farms, and even non-perishable items now as well.
We’ve supported and seen H2K in action. We believe in this program and that is why we’ve backed it from the beginning. It’s a program that’s working and making a real difference for childhood hunger and food security here on Martha’s Vineyard.
The cost to run the core food program is $50,000 but as needs have increased, so has the Club’s response. It has now added packaged family meals during school vacations and weekends. It has opened the Blue Door Pantry which provides members and families with access to perishable and non-perishable food, hygiene and essential wearables. The effort also includes partnering with Cronig’s Market and local farms to glean food from the fields to the store.
Healthy Happy Kids has become an integral part of the kids’ lives. They look forward to eating at the Club. Kids have begun getting involved with menu planning. Some are even learning how to cook.
The kids are also learning about nutrition and how to eat healthily. This is something that will serve them for the rest of their lives, and is important in shaping their eating habits.
The program has expanded as well. There are bags of food that parents and kids can take home for the weekend. The bags of food include things like canned veggies, pasta sauce, pasta and more.
Island Grown Gleaning brings fresh Martha’s Vineyard-grown veggies to the Club to be brought home. It’s a great way to continue those healthy eating habits at home.
Celebrate the spirit of the season by providing the most basic of needs to almost 800 Island school children. Together, we can help hundreds of Island kids know that they will not go hungry during the school week when they’re at the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club. Together we can help kids enjoy being kids. Click here to make a donation.
Visit MVTEDDYBEARSUITE.COM for all things fundraising and Teddy Bear Suite related. And if you use social media, our hashtag is #myteddybearsuite which will automatically add your pictures to our social media photo feed!