Posted by Bonnie Branciaroli on Sep 15, 2019
September is Basic Education & Literacy Month. Did you know that hunger affects how kids learn? Join us in the fight against hunger in our own backyard and pay special tribute to Education and Literacy!


PRESIDING TODAY IS: Bonnie Branciaroli, President

bellDing! We’re now in session.

Welcome all – visitors, fellow Rotarians and guests alike to this E-Club program!

Remember the Four-Way Test!

At the beginning of each meeting we remind ourselves of the The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always . . .

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Reflective Moments

“The more that you read, The more things you will know. The more that you learn, The more places you will go .”
       – Dr. Seuss
“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”
       – Sasha Salmina
“If we can conquer space, we can conque childhood hunger.”
       ― Buzz Aldrin

Leadership Quotes

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
        – Frederick Douglass
“Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.”
       – Carl Sagan
“People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.”
       – Neil deGrasse Tyson






D7545 Local Rotary Events

are jointly sponsoring a visit to the area of RI Zone 33 Director, Stephanie Urchick, and her Aide, PDG Mary Berge.

'WOMEN IN ROTARY' event at the Tea Shoppe, located in the historic Seneca Center on Beechurst Avenue in Morgantown from 3:00-5:00 p.m.  $20.00 per person. Maximum capacity: 40 people, first-come-first-served basis. 
RSVP! Send check made payable to the Rotary Club of Fairmont, P.O. Box 12, Fairmont WV 26555 to guarantee your seat.
'GROW ROTARY' event with RI Zone 33 Director, Stephanie Urchick, and her Aide, PDG Mary Berge – Banquet facility at the Crab Shack Caribba Cheat Lake, 69 Mont Chateau Road, Morgantown, WV – 6:30 p.m.  Buffet: $30.00 per person (cash bar). Contact DGE Sean Sawyer or by phone: 304.288.8862 to RSVP.
September 28"Run For It" – Davis, WV – our club's first Fundraiser. Proceeds to fight childhood hunger.
October 9 – MSRE Board Meeting – Noon via Zoom. All members welcome.
October 23 – World Polio Day event for our E-Club – Special guest: District Governor Shari Messinger – more information to come.
October 24World Polio Day










Did you know that hunger affects how kids learn? Despite what the majority of Americans want to believe, hunger isn’t an issue that affects only third-world countries. It is a near-epidemic right here in our own backyard. Learn what we can do to help our kids, our neighbors, and our communities.
With more than 40 percent of households in the United States living below poverty level, it’s no surprise that hunger plagues many families, most of which include children.
The World Health Organization says that malnutrition affects about 792 million people worldwide. At least a third of them are children. Childhood hunger affects one of every four children in the United States, with as many as 17 million children at risk of malnutrition.

Cognitive Effects Of Child Hunger

The early years of life are the most crucial in terms of development, both physical and mental. Chronic hunger results in a lack of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a child to reach developmental milestones.

According to a study of under-nutrition in children by the United Nation’s Children Fund, children who come from food-insecure homes, meaning they aren’t sure where their next meal will come from, are often shorter than average height for their age or significantly underweight. But more than that, these kids may also experience learning disabilities and other cognitive impairments.

These cognitive concerns stem, according to the Center for Disease Control, from two major effects of hunger: the inability to focus and excessive absences due to illness. The first of these two is somewhat obvious. It’s difficult for a child to focus on learning when he or she is experiencing the painful effects of chronic hunger.
The second cause, however, takes a bit more analysis. According to, if a child is hungry, his or her immune system suffers as a result of a lack of vital nutrients. This leads to repeated illnesses, which in turn leads to several missed days of school, making it nearly impossible for the child to keep up with schoolwork.
When you consider these effects of hunger as causes of cognitive developmental issues in children, it’s not hard to make the connection.  

Sociability Effects Of Child Hunger

In addition to physical and cognitive negative effects, hunger often results in emotional and social roadblocks, according to the Feeding America Network.
Kids who don’t get enough to eat — especially during their first three years — begin life at a serious disadvantage. When they’re hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. And as they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.
Children experiencing hunger may feel ashamed and have trouble connecting with their peers. This can often lead to verbal or physical altercations between children.
That being said, hunger is sometimes at the root of many behavior problems that often lead to missed school lessons (if a child gets suspended, for example). This further contributes to the cognitive effects previously mentioned.
When they’re hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. And as they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.

Making A Difference

The Feeding America network of food banks provides service to 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Through a network of 58,000 food pantries, meal service programs, and other charitable food programs, the Feeding America network serves 5.4 million individuals each week.
In addition to accessing food through traditional food pantries, the Feeding America network offers specialized programs to help kids get the food they need when they need it most. The Backpack program is just one of these programs that help feed hungry kids. Other programs include the after school Kids Café, Summer Food Service program, and at home, the School Pantry program and SNAP Application Assistance program.
For more detailed information on the Feeding America Network, watch this video.

In West Virginia

According to Feeding America statistics, 268,070 West Virginians are struggling with hunger – and of them 76,970 are children.
Mountaineer Food Bank of West Virginia estimates that one in six West Virginians struggle with hunger and food insecurity. That’s a rate of 15.3 percent. Thirty-seven out of 55 counties are classified as either At-Risk or Distressed. These counties rank in the worst 25% of the nation’s counties according to economic status indicators. Poverty is the #1 influence on food security and hunger.
According to Mountaineer Food Bank one in six people visited a food pantry, soup kitchen or other feeding program in 2017. Many families struggle to access healthy, nutritious foods. These families live day to day, and often have to make a choice between healthy foods and living expenses. Due to the prevelance of substituting unhealthy foods for healthy foods, we see a significant difference in the way our children develope. In West Virginia, children are overweight, nearly obese, and struggle with ailments such as childhood diabetes, poor oral health, stomach aches, headaches and colds.







When I became president of the Mountain State Rotary E-Club in July, one of my goals was to increase engagement of membership by creating fundraising events, thereby creating more funds for community projects that membership may participate in. As an E-club, our membership is scattered through many counties and states, and our projects do the same.

Our first fundraiser was initiated in late August, with a September 2019 dateline. Since September is Basic Education & Literacy Month, I decided to embark upon a project that would incorporate the struggles of hunger and how it relates to and affects learning and education. As what most Rotarians would do starting a new project, I reached out to a colleague I knew, Executive Director Brenda Hunt of the non-profit organization, Heart and Hand House, working with a Feeding America Backpack Program in neighboring Barbour County.

Heart and Hand House, Inc., located in Philippi, West Virginia, is a non-profit mission project affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It exists for the clear Christian mandate to minister to the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs of in-crisis, low-income people of Barbour County. As part of their mission, they administer the Backpack program for most of the Barbour County schools. Upon contacting her, she was completely appreciative of the fact that our Rotary club would be willing to help. She had just learned that the percentage of kids in need of the Backpack program in two of the county schools had increased from the last school year (2018) by 20 percent. She did not know where she would get that increased funding. It was the perfect symbiotic relationship. In preparation of the project, I asked for numbers and was overwhelmed by the percentage of needy kids in Barbour County.


As of the writing of this program, our first fundraiser is doing well, and we have nearly reached our new goal of $1,000.00. The funds will then be matched to a District 7545 grant, and hopefully we will be able to help feed those children who make up that increase of 20 percent!

Deadline for sponsorship of our “Running for Rotary 2019” 2K walking team registered in the Tucker Community Foundation event, “Run For It” is September 23.

Feel free to donate to help feed kids in Barbour County. See you in Davis on September 28!



Heart and Hand House, Inc.

Members, please leave a comment, so we know you've visited us! If you are a Rotarian using this program as your make-up
meeting and would like to contribute the cost of your normal Rotary meeting meal, we would be grateful. These funds go directly to our service projects. You can make a contribution through the Give/Donate link on the homepage. 
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