CACFP Inspire: Genia Boutwell of Poarch Band of Creek Indians
August 22, 2022
The Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived together for almost 200 years in and around their reservation in Poarch, Alabama. The Boys & Girls Club of the Poarch Creek Indians was the first Native American Boys & Girls Club in the state of Alabama, established in 2011. Their mission is to enable young people to reach their full potential. They do this by providing a safe environment for children ages 6—18 to learn and have fun after school and during the summer. The Boys & Girls Club of the Poarch Creek Indians serves children who are first or second-generation tribal members and children of employees who work in tribal government.
Their programs include:
- Afterschool Program; all school days from 2:00p–5:30p
- Summer Program; all days children are out of school for summer break from 7:30a–5:30p
- Summer Feeding Program (ages 18 and under); feeding all community children that are under the age of eighteen breakfast and lunch during the summer months
Genia Boutwell is responsible for the CACFP meals served through the Poarch Creek Indians Boys & Girls Club. Genia operates the program with consistency and integrity. Regardless of the circumstances, she ensures that the policies and procedures set forth by the CACFP are followed with fidelity.
During the pandemic, the Boys & Girls Club had to close its doors, but Genia and her staff came in every day and served the children of the community from the back door of the building. Genia partnered with the Gulf Coast Produce Company to distribute food boxes to the needy families in her community. Furthermore, she even arranged for volunteers to supplement the effort when the work was more than what staff alone could manage. When essential workers were the only staff members who were physically working at the Tribe, Genia and her team came to work to prepare meals for these workers and support the effort.
Genia loves the Poarch children and community. When she sees a need she immediately begins to develop a plan. Genia goes beyond her call of duty for her role with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. It would be less work for her to wait for someone else to take charge, but she always meets the challenge head-on.