Four nonprofit organizations and one high school received grants from the Aiken Rotary Club on Monday.

The application from Midland Valley High described its food pantry that serves students in need on weekends.

“That really touched us,” said Rotarian Liz Stewart, the project chairman. “This is being funded by the faculty and staff members who are investing their own money.”

Sharon Worley, Midland Valley’s guidance director, was thrilled that the Rotary Club donated $650, more than the school had sought.

“We had started fundraising for our ‘feeder’ elementary schools,” Worley said, “and then started our own food pantry a few years ago. These funds will help fill in the gaps for our students and their families.”

The club received 31 impressive requests, which made the decision to award five grants for a total of $4,500 all the more difficult, Stewart said. The other recipients were the Community Medical Clinic; Area Churches Serving Together, known more commonly as ACTS; Hitchcock Healthcare; and the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare.

The Medical Clinic will receive funding to provide a walking program for about 50 patients with diabetes. Each will receive a pedometer, a scale and walking shoes.

ACTS will get its funds to provide 25 electric heaters to families in need. The heaters can be moved from room to room. Hitchcock, a rehabilitation facility, will use its grant to purchase defibrillators – ensuring the seniors it serves are protected while exercising. At the SPCA, the staff will supplement its spaying and neutering services for family pets.

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.