Kiwanis hear program on weekend meals for
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–There’s a “dirty little secret” at every school
district around Cedar Creek Lake – some students don’t get to
eat between Friday’s lunch and the breakfast they get at school
“When we moved down here, I heard rumors about hunger at the
school,” Tool area resident David Bullock told Cedar Creek Lake
Kiwanis members Wednesday.
Bullock talked with Tool Elementary principal Bill Morgan, who
told him some students tried to pack up extra food at lunch
Friday to take home with them.
“He (Morgan) told me their behavior was predictable,” Bullock
said. “They come in Monday morning and wolf down breakfast, and
then they go through the (cafeteria) line again.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
David Bullock pulls out a jar of peanut butter, a staple of
children's meals, from a food bag sent home with needy children.
Bullock talked with Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis members Wednesday
about the program he oversees at Tool Elementary School, and
challenged the club to consider sponsoring similar programs at
“Then they throw up, because your body won’t handle a bunch of
food after not eating for a while,” Bullock added.
Bullock and his wife Donna came up with the idea of preparing a
take-home bag of packaged food, enough to feed two children over
The Bullocks’ home church, Cedar Creek United Methodist,
partnered with Providence Baptist Church to provide funding for
the food bags, and Brookshire’s of Seven Points provides the
non-perishable food items.
“(Brookshire’s manager) Scott (Andrews) sells the food to us at
cost (about $10 for each bag),” Bullock said.
Canned items have to be in pop-top containers, so kids can open
them without a can opener, and the bags have to be light enough
for a first-grader to lift and carry. Bag tops must be folded
over and stapled, Bullock said.
Bullock and the church members collecting the food bring it to
the school each Friday.
“We don’t ever see the children – we don’t want to,” Bullock
Morgan and the school nurse give the bags to the 15 or so
students who need them before they board the bus, he explained.
“The bags are packed by the seniors at our church, and they love
it,” Bullock added. There are two different lists of food, so
the menu can be varied from week to week, he said.
“Here’s the shock – I’m not asking for your money,” he said.
“What I need is your heart – because you have the very same
problem going on at every school around the lake.”
Students worry about making it through the weekend every Friday,
and then they’re sick after their binge each Monday, Bullock
“Friday and Monday are 40 percent of the week,” he pointed out.
“How can you learn anything if you’re sick or worried 40 percent
of the time?”
Bullock handed out a few copies of his guidelines, but noted,
“If you have ideas, give me a call, because I’m making
The Kiwanis motto is “Changing the world, one child and one
community at a time.”
“We may have found a way to change the world one child, and one
community, at a time,” Bullock said. “When I checked out
Kiwanis, I thought this was a natural (match).”
Club members were galvanized by Bullock’s presentation, and
began talking about how such a program could be implemented.
Bullock said he would provide copies of his guidelines to the
“Folks, you can’t do this wrong,” he said.
For more information on the food bag project, contact Bullock at
During the summer, Bullock, the school, city and Texas
Department of Agriculture have teamed up in the Summer Nutrition
Program to feed kids 18 and under a free meal between 11 a.m.
and noon, Monday-Thursday at the Oran White Center, next to Tool
No paperwork or registration is required. Food is served on a
first-come, first-served basis. Meals may be eaten on site or
taken to go, but a qualifying child must be present, and any
school district or residential location may participate.
The program will continue through the month of July;. For more
information, call Makenzie Blaser, (903) 432-3522.
In club news, members:
• witnessed Lt. Gov. Bobbie Hawkins of Athens officially install
three new members – Gwynn Frosch (the new president-elect),
Margaret Manning and Richard Siemens.
• agreed to start collecting aluminum can pull tabs through
Labor Day to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a
home for the families of seriously ill children.
Getting ready for disaster
First Responders talk preparation at seminar
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Being prepared is a Boy Scout’s motto, but it also makes
good sense for homeowners and business owners who might face a
disaster one day.
“‘It won’t happen to me.’ How can we change the mindset of those
communities?” Kaufman County Emergency Management intern Kyle
Landua asked a small group of First Responders June 9.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kaufman County Emergency Management intern Kyle Landua speaks to
a group of First Responders during an “Emergency Management 101”
seminar at the Comfort Suites hotel in Mabank June 9.
“As First Responders, that’s the biggest problem we face –
nobody’s worried about it,” Landua added during a special
seminar, “Emergency Management 101,” at Mabank’s Comfort Suites
“We’ve got to open the community’s eyes,” he said. “That’s the
question – how do we do that?”
Kaufman County will be developing a county-wide emergency
preparedness plan, county emergency management coordinator Steve
Howie told the group.
Part of the plan is alerting homeowners about funding available
to pay for improvements, Howie said.
The North Texas Council of Governments will pay half (up to
$3,000) of the costs of a project, such as the construction of a
“safe room,” Howie said.
“That money is there,” he added. “We’ve just got to get in there
and access it.”
Everyone in the Cedar Creek Lake area faces a chance of being
affected by a natural disaster, usually in the form of a major
storm or tornado.
There’s also the chance for wildfire (a particular danger this
hot and dry summer) and even a hurricane – there have been a
couple of hurricanes brush the edges of the lake area within the
past 10 years.
Being prepared is a cycle – planning, organizing, training,
equipping, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective action –
before starting over with planning, Howie pointed out.
“Every company needs to educate its employees about to implement
this (county) plan, because these things (tornadoes, fires) are
going to happen,” he said. “Having a plan helps.”
Howie admitted no amount of planning could adequately prepare a
community for the almost unbelievable damage and death resulting
from the F5 tornado that destroyed much of Joplin, Mo.,
In a situation such as Joplin, “the city has to be triaged,”
Triage is a system designed to produce the greatest benefit for
battlefield casualties by providing treatment for those who
might survive with proper treatment, and withholding care for
those who have little to no chance of survival, or those who
will survive without treatment.
“Say you spend two hours to help one guy, where two blocks over,
you have a school down on top of 300 kids,” Howie said. “That
(triage) is not something you want to do, but (you) have to know
where to send your resources first.”
In addition, every homeowner and every business owner should
have emergency action plans, including an evacuation plan, he
Homeowners should consider putting together a get-and-go bag, a
suitcase containing a change of clothing and needed medications,
packed and ready to pick up on the way out of the house.
“First, plan, then prepare, then practice that plan,” Howie
said. “In fire safety, you learn to have a designated place to
meet (outside the home), and how to get information to others.”
Suggestions on how to form a fire safety or storm safety plan
can be reviewed at www.texasprepares.org, Howie said.
“That website can help you prepare a plan yourself, and you can
print it off with marks on where to fold it, so it will fit in
your wallet,” he pointed out. “You definitely can’t
Landua, an emergency management senior at the University of
North Texas, said Mabank also might consider forming Community
Emergency Response Teams, or CERTs.
“It’s basically neighbors helping neighbors,” he explained. “If
you have a good base set up, you’ll have CERT members in most
areas of the community.”
To become a CERT member, volunteers undergo training in basic
first aid, light search and rescue, and psychological training
to enable them to be responsible and useful during a disaster.
CERT equipment bags, which also can be paid for through NTCOG
funding, contain items that normally would be useful in an
emergency situation, such as multi-tools, first aid kits, duct
tape and other items.
Most CERT trainees typically add items to their bags as they
gain experience, Landua said.
“I can tell you that you don’t have enough First Responders to
take care of something like Joplin,” Howie said. “The rule is,
‘the first 72 hours, you’re on your own.’”
To be ready, homeowners (and owners of larger businesses)
probably should maintain a stash of bottled water and
non-perishable food, enough to last for three or four days,
along with batteries and other recommended items, Howie said.
“Just getting these things ready for your family will go a long
ways,” he said. “You knowing your family is taken care of will
allow you to do what you need to do.”