St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church


209 W. 7th Street - Ely, Nevada 89301


Committee Against Child Hunger


In the beginning Paula Sims had received money from the National Church in NY for a plan to open a place for children to go after school. Never really got off the ground. During some of these musings Paula would meet with Margaret Bath. One such night Margaret invited Red and Paula to her home for dinner and brainstorming. She wanted Ely Grade for apartments, we wanted it for after school activities. During this process Margaret learned the Episcopal Diocese was sending a group of people to Kenya, Africa. Meanwhile Red and Paula were learning of a program to start in Elko and Las Vegas, called Communities in Schools. A program to help the whole child; not just food, clothing, poverty, but the entire well-being of our youth. As a church, we wanted to be a part of that. When Margaret returned from Africa she became more involved in the church.

Then around 2011/12 not sure she asked if we could meet and maybe get something going. We were at the point of throwing things at the wall just to see if anything stuck. It hadn’t. So, a small group s met at the Silver-state Restaurant, had a nice lunch while trying to find out if there was a need in WP County to help kids that are hungry. 

Won’t bore you with those details, but a hollow no was ringing in our ears. Long story short, the Elko people told us yes, there is a need. So finally, a meeting of Margaret, Paula, the people from Elko and the school board. Communities in School told us they couldn’t help us because of their requirements, and their responsibility to Elko County. But did give some statistics to give the school board. Mark Bechtel of the WP School District was visibly shaken by their report. After the call Mark assured us he would help. There were only three of us on that call and the journey to figure what to do next began.

It was about a week or so later, Margaret called and said there would be a meeting at the Jailhouse to determine what we needed to do. At that meeting we had educators, clergy, and representatives from St. Bartholomew. A total of approximately 15 concerned citizens.

The next meeting, we had those same folks plus Bob Miller from the local Rotary Club and Judge Gary Fairman. They listened to our spiel and after answering many questions said “The Rotary will put up the first $1800.00 to see if this project can get done and to see if there is a need.” 

Margaret had gone to the grocery store and did a mockup of what would be needed, at that time in round numbers, figuring $7.00 a pack! Next Red and Paula went to see if we could buy in bulk and how long to receive the items we had selected to meet the nutritional guidelines. 

That first delivery to schools, was 10 packs each to the DEN, McGill, the Middle School and Learning Bridge for the month! Today over 200 packs a week.

It has been a community effort as the citizens of Ely volunteered to serve on the board, volunteer to assemble and deliver the packs, actively seek funding and promote the program.

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