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June 10, 2013

Local foundation brings healthy breakfast to summer campers

Jon Gregory of the Boys & Girls Club, donor Jim Timberlake, Cole Johnson of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation and Melissa German of Fauquier Community Child Care.
By Alex Sharp VIII

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to Jim Timberlake, who this month donated $5,000 to two nonprofit organizations in Fauquier County to buy healthy breakfasts for kids attending summer camps.

On behalf of the Farrar-Timberlake Foundation, the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation (Community Foundation) granted the money to the Boys, Girls Club of Fauquier, and Fauquier Community Child Care (FCCC). The $5,000 will be divided between the two groups to buy nutritional food for their campers to eat each morning for their six-week summer camps beginning in June.

"I grew up in this community, and I want to help it,” Jim Timberlake, owner of the Paint Shop in Warrenton, said during a May 9 meeting with the executive directors of the Community Foundation, Boys and Girls Club and FCCC. Timberlake and his wife, Gina Farrar, created the Farrar-Timberlake Foundation six years ago. “I was motivated because I was born in Warrenton, raised in Warrenton, and I struggled as a child not having proper food in the mornings.”

Jon Gregory, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Fauquier in charge of 75 to 100 children attending summer camp from June 24 to Aug. 16, said that the generosity of the Farrar-Timberlake Foundation has filled a valuable need.

“We wouldn’t be able to provide breakfast to the kids without the funding. And a lot of our kids may not even get breakfast if it wasn’t for this program,” Gregory said during the May 9 strategy session.

When Timberlake turned to the Community Foundation to assist the Farrar-Timberlake Foundation, he met with executive director Cole Johnson to identify ways to help his hometown community.

“When Jim and I started talking at the beginning of this year about what to do with the money, Jim said that he was very concerned about childhood nutrition, and are these children getting enough food, especially for breakfast,” Johnson said.

So the community foundation began researching needs relating to childhood nutrition, and discovered that the Fauquier Boys and Girls Club and Fauquier Community Child Care did not have adequate funding for breakfast for their summer campers.

“We started talking about the programs, what was missing from their programs. And what came up was healthy breakfasts,” Johnson said. “And when I went back to Jim, he said, ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I quite agree. If that’s what they want to use this money for, I’m for it.’ And here we are. It is exciting, because that is what community foundations are. We do the legwork, and we make sure the money is used effectively.”

Melissa German, executive director of FCCC said that she has always struggled with funding breakfast for her annual summer camps, which begins June 7 and may take on as many as 350 campers in two age groups from kindergarten to age 13.

“Taking on a snack program, or a feeding program, can be really daunting. It just takes a lot of coordination, and I wasn’t sure how you’d manage that,” German said. “And I worry about these kids getting breakfast. We have kids dropped off at 6:30 in the morning. Remember when you were 10? You know those kids woke up at six, threw on a pair of shorts and rolled out the door with their parents. If we have them running all day, and lunch is at 10:30 or 11 o’clock, and they’ve decided not to have the snack offered that morning, then these kids are running on nothing.”

German said that FCCC will likely serve fresh fruit for breakfast, and items including a turkey bacon sandwich on a healthy grain bun. In collaborating with Gregory, she recommended that he also set up a make-your-own yogurt parfait station, which she said is a real hit with the kids.

At this, Timberlake’s eyes widened.

“I might come for breakfast!” he said.
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