August 11, 2011-- The Conway Medical Center Foundation is preparing for the CMC Smart Snacks program for the 2011-2012 school year. The Smart Snacks program provides food over the weekends to kindergarten through fifth grade students residing in Horry County and who qualify for free or reduced lunch. A typical weekend food package includes: cereal boxes, fruit cups, juice boxes, chips, pudding and gelatin cups, cracker or cookie bags.
Last school year, the program served 574 elementary school children at Waccamaw, Midlands, Conway and Homewood Elementary Schools by providing nutritious snacks to take home over the weekends. Due to current economic conditions, and unemployment in our area, the CMC Foundation anticipates an increase in the number of students needing our assistance.
In order for the program to continue successfully during the school year, the CMC Foundation has launched the “CMC Smart Snacks” campaign seeking monetary donations from businesses, organizations and individuals. Sonic Drive-In has graciously committed to the “Top Banana” Sponsorship for an annual gift of $5,000. The CMC Foundation plans to solicit support through direct mail, online contributions and through media advertising.
Berns Massey, Executive Director of the CMC Foundation states, “There is evidence that a child who goes without food does not have the energy to think or do well in school. Understanding that hunger significantly impacts a child’s health and well-being and that approximately 57% of those students enrolled in Horry County schools qualify for free or reduced lunch, we realized a void existed for those children’s nutritional needs on the weekends. Through our partnership with participating schools, we’ve impacted the lives of children and provided the nutrition they need to learn, grow, play and live healthier lives. With adequate funding, we hope to be able to support and eventually expand the program as needed within the community. Our HEALTHREACH nurses continue to work directly with school district staff to determine eligible students, and volunteer groups to pack the items weekly.”
Since inception of the program in March of 1995, the Foundation has provided over $142,000 to support the “Smart Snacks” program. Food costs for the current school year are about $1,575 per week. In addition to the costs for the snacks, personnel and transportation are provided by Conway Medical Center.
Conway Medical Center Foundation is supporting the program through our HEALTHREACH initiative, an outreach program that serves the medically underserved population of Horry County. Studies have shown that a child’s normal growth and development is impacted by their nutritional state.
The CMC Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1988 as a charitable organization to provide support for Conway Medical Center. Resources for the Foundation are obtained from donations, memorial gifts, planned gifts, grants, special events and other resources.
To donate to Smart Snacks, please contact the CMC Foundation office at (843) 347-8058 or donate online at www.conwaymedicalcenter.com.