ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – One St. Louis grandmother is making a difference in teens’ lives, one breakfast plate at a time.
Dozens of Bishop DuBourg high school students shuffle through her doors and into her kitchen on Wednesday mornings for breakfast club. They call her “Grandma Peggy.”
Peggy Winckowski’s grandson, Sam Crowe, started the Wednesday Breakfast Club, and it continues in his honor. Crowe died in an accident at the end of July 2022. Winckowski said the breakfast club visited Grandma Peggy every day for a full week to ensure she was okay.
“Sam, his cousin Owen, and seven of their friends used to go to breakfast before school started on Wednesdays because Bishop DuBourg had a late start,” said Peggy Winckowski, also known as Grandma Peggy.
She said, “One day, Crowe came home and said to me, ‘I told my friends that my grandma makes the best breakfast.'”
Winckowski said, “I told Sam and Owen to bring their friends, and I will make breakfast next Wednesday. When they were all leaving to go to school, they hugged me.”
She said the teens asked to come again next week. “So, a breakfast club was created and throughout the year and each week, it got a little larger.”
“I think it brought them happiness since they all liked to hang out here. Who does not want to go to grandma’s house?” Winckowski said. “The kids asked about breakfast club, and since my other grandson, Owen, was a sophomore, I wanted to continue for him and his friends. We had breakfast clubs all last year. And then it started again this year; it continues to grow.”
Winckowski will continue to make breakfast for those who show up. She starts her days between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m., and the kids start piling in around 7:10 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
“It is a very tiny house with lots of love in the walls. It does not matter where they sit; if you feed them, they will come,” she said. “We use only glass plates, real utensils, and glass cups. It is easier to eat off of regular plates while standing. I do not want to have them eat off paper plates; it is all about the presentation.”
The teenagers still wanted to participate in breakfast, which delighted her. She cherishes the connection she has with them.
“I lost my grandson in a tragic accident, but if you try to turn the bad into good, you can get 20 to 30 extra kids that all call me Grandma Peggy,” she said. “I think that Sam was putting this in place, so I wouldn’t be lonely.”
She was determined to carry on this tradition for the kids for as long as she was able. She firmly believes that starting the day with a hearty breakfast and fostering a sense of fellowship are important.