TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– As kids ran around the Ryves Youth Center gymnasium on Wednesday, Naomi Smith couldn’t hide her smile.

“It’s the best feeling. It really is.”

Smith, the food service coordinator, has been working with the youth center for about five years. She said the event has continued to grow.

“We build on it every year, we try to make it bigger and better, and just the fact that we can provide the meals, get the kids in the door so they realize what the Ryves Youth Center actually has to offer, we just love working with the children and providing them meals,” she said.

The event serves as the start of the summer program Catholic Charities puts on to help feed children in Vigo County when they are out of school. According to a press release from Catholic Charities, over 50% of children in the county receive free or price-reduced lunches during the school year.

Smith said services like these are vital throughout the summer months.

“It’s very important that we feed the children through the summer because normally they would get at least two meals at school so we provide that here for them.”

Ryves Youth Center will continue providing lunch and dinner every Monday through Friday until school starts.