Kids are keeping their bellies full this summer with a state funded program that’s providing lunches five days a week.
This program allows Son Ministries to sponsor four locations across the Valley.
To offer this five days a week is quite the accomplishment.
For the program to come to a school district, more than 50% of the student body must be on free or reduced lunches.
So, with that in mind, you know the need is a strong one; however, that’s not the main goal.
“It touches my heart to know that I’m helping kids,” says Diane Pine, a volunteer. “It really does.”
Diane Pine is the positive force behind a local effort to provide hot meals for kids.
“I substitute at school, so I know there’s a need.”
What she sees doesn’t disappear during the summer.
In fact, the need increases.
Overall, Greene County has a food insecurity rate of 13.5%.
Local schools have at least 50% of students on free or reduced lunches.
So who’s feeding them when they’re not in class?
It’s programs like this that fill the void.
“Most parents work,” says Pine. “This is a chance for them to get a hot meal. Anybody is welcome. It doesn’t matter.”
“I like to come here because like some kids don’t get to eat,” says Xander Richardson, a 12-year-old. “It’s kinda sad for some kids so I want people that can’t eat that live around here to come.”
Just inside the Lawton Street Christian Church, Pine has seen anywhere from 2 to 39 kids ready for their nutritious and balanced meal.
“I was so happy because I thought people would come and it was like.. it was good in my mind,” says Richardson.
“I believe that all of us care about the kids,” says Pine. “You know, we care about the environment that they’re in. We care about the fact they get enough to eat. Because in America there are a lot of kids that don’t get enough to eat.”
Any kids 18-years of age or younger can eat for free.
Here are the current locations, that are open from 12-1 Monday through Friday:
- Linton: East Shelter house in the Park
- Jasonville: Lawton Street Christian Church
- Lyons: Community Building
- Worthington: Monday through Thursday ONLY, Hinchman Building in the Park.
Beginning July 10th, a Sullivan location will open in the library, only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
There is always a need for volunteers.
So if you’d like to volunteer at any location..
You can just go there that day.
But you are required to fulfill a background check for the safety of the kids.