by Lisa Tome
For months, Ellen Lucas has been feeding a child she likely doesn't even know.
Lucas, a member of the Rising Sun Lions Club, is part of a team of people who have signed on to provide weekend meals for students at Rising Sun Elementary School.
Earlier this year, the Lions teamed up with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a Catholic organization which operates a food pantry in western Cecil County. Every week the groups alternate packing bags with weekend food for about a half dozen students at the school.
The food is purchased by the Lions Club members during their weeks. The proceeds from the monthly meals at St. Agnes Church help offset the cost of food for the St. Vincent de Paul volunteers. Typically, the weekend bags include soup, oatmeal, canned pasta or a convenience meal, cereal, granola bars, and a few treats.
Bill Pare' and his wife, Marilyn, are part of both groups. They know the need is there for the children. "The school is so glad to see us," said Bill Pare'.
Bud McFadden has packed some of the meals at his home. "It makes you feel good. We are always getting solicitations to help children in Africa and Asia. We are helping children right in our own backyard," said McFadden.
The volunteers do not know whom they are serving. The weekend meals are placed in the backpacks of students in need discreetly.
Jo Ann Lori volunteers for the effort with St. Vincent de Paul. "It is so gratifying and I get such enjoyment from it. I've been there. I know what it's like," said Lori, who has worked in school cafeterias. "You can look at the children and know which ones have a need."
Lucas said the Rising Sun Lions Club plans to expand their partnership with Rising Sun Elementary.