The Boys & Girls Club Feeds Children in Need and Launches National Campaign

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It's a program that started more than a decade ago, and now the Boys & Girls Club of Wausau is back at it again; providing free healthy meals for breakfast and lunch.

Brian Stezenski-Williams, the executive director for the club, said "The meal program has continued to grow exponentially really since we started."

Williams thinks more and more kids are taking advantage of the free meals because of the economy. "(The) poverty level in the community has skyrocketed," said Williams, "The Wausau district is very close to 50 percent free reduced lunch, which is essentially the equivalent of the federal poverty line."

The meal program runs through August 22. During that week they offer snacks and dinner, and on the weekends kids can have breakfast and lunch. Williams said it's a great way to get underprivileged children the proper nutrition they need.

"It helps kids develop positive healthy eating habits, because we serve balanced (meals). We always have salad, fruit, protein (and) dairy."

Not only are more kids taking advantage of the meal program, attendance at the Boys & Girls Club is also rising. Quentin Fisher, will be a junior this year. He's been a member of the club for six years, and spent the last four years here in Wausau.

"Honestly, it's a lot of fun," said Fisher, "There's a lot of great staff members, you can talk to friends here... it's pretty nice."

Fisher said he spends most of his time at the club. During the Summer, he's there every single day, and during the school year about half that time. Fisher is even thinking about joining the staff team after he graduates high school.

"I've been asking around to see if I can become a staff member here," said Fisher, "I've known a couple of good friends from high school who are seniors that are working here at the club."

But a great attendance isn't the only thing the club has to be happy about. The Boys & Girls Club is also launching a few brand new national commercials.

Today the club will be broadcasting the new TV and radio spots to promote the importance of having a place for our youth after school. This is especially important because the new school year is right around the corner.

"The Boys & Girls Club of American does an outstanding job of helping us build that awareness, and the next step is to build the understanding," said Williams.

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