COON RAPIDS, Minn. –The “Food For All Program” in public schools helps lift some financial burden off of families during the school year; however, when summer arrives and school lets out for the summer, parents are left with few aid options to help feed their families. As local businesses and institutions recognized this problem, many stepped forward to fight against hunger.
One of those taking up arms is the Peace Lutheran Church, who has developed their “Summer Lunch Bunch Program”. Since 2009 the church has supported families during the summer time. Peace Lutheran served 1,200 lunches last year alone, and data projects Peace Lutheran will provide around 3,300 this summer. The Lunch Bunch Program will shut its doors August 24th.
“Anyone can come, there is no questions asked at the door.” states Ceal Byron, chairwoman of The Hunger and Human Needs Committee at the church. The volunteers of Peace Lutheran Church seem to enjoy serving lunch as much as the kids enjoy eating it, “It’s fun seeing the kids come in” states Emily Brown, Assistant Manager of the program “We serve [the kids] a dessert everyday-a different one-they get really excited.”
Other locations for similar programs: Evergreen Park Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School, Anoka Middle School for the Arts, and Coon Rapids Middle Schools. Lunches are served Monday through Thursday from noon to 1:30P.M. The program ends on August 24th at the Anoka-Hennepin School District sites; however, for these locations adult lunches are priced at $3.50.
Woodcrest Elementary School’s program will carry on with their free lunch program for a second year. Woodcrest serves lunch from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to kids 18 and under, and their program will end on July 26th.