‘Muffin ladies’ dedicated to students

‘Muffin ladies’ dedicated to students

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Wayne Jones doesn’t give the key to his shop to just anyone, only to the “muffin ladies” in Oliver.
The proprietor of Oliver Bakery and Deli has donated the use of his kitchen to the Lioness Club so it can bake muffins for the breakfast program at Oliver Elementary School.
Members of the Lioness Club and the Elks Club provide muffins to the students every Monday and Tuesday morning. The ladies hand out about nine dozen muffins per day, plus juice.
Lioness Katie Di Iuorio said the program is for students who don’t have breakfast in the morning (for whatever reason, including financial and time restraints).
“The kids are pleased to see us, and the teachers note that their attention span is better (when they have breakfast).”
Di Iuorio is a strong believer of addressing problems in our own backyard before spending money and resources for foreign aid.
“I put my energy in my community; we need to look after our own too.”
The ladies began baking the muffins at home in October of 2011. Then they tried the Elks hall kitchen, but it just wasn’t enough.
Jones found out about the situation and offered the ladies the use of his kitchen, where everything is more consistent. He taught them how to use the ovens and they have been on their own ever since.
Jones said he sees the program as very beneficial since the students are more attentive in class after eating breakfast.
Di Iuorio acknowledged that a muffin is not the most nutritious breakfast, but they try to add nutritious ingredients. But they have to be careful not to go overboard on the healthy stuff because the kids frown upon too much bran or wheat germ . . . a lesson the ladies learned quickly. So they stick with carrot, apple, blueberry and, the favourite – chocolate chip.
Lioness Marion Langlois said some kids come to school early to get one of those chocolate chip muffins.
Lynne Thompson from the Elks said some children don’t want breakfast at home, while others find they don’t have time because they are running late. But they will eat the muffins at school. In fact, the ladies rarely have any muffins left over.
Thompson said making muffins with the group is fun. They even sing in the kitchen. So if you hear singing in the bakery on Sundays, you know it’s the “muffin ladies” at work.

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