Nearly 16 million children in America are not getting the food they need, according to NoKidHungry.org. But not the kids in Webster City. They will be able to fill their stomachs every day of the week July 22 – 26 at the Webster City Middle School.
Asbury United Methodist Church members will dish out free meals to kids younger than 18 for the summer lunch program. However, anyone older than 18 can get a meal for $3.50, explained Asbury administrative assistant Abby Sturtevant.
“This is the first year that we’ve had it,” said church member Dawn Scholtens. “We had to qualify as a community by having a high enough free or reduced lunch count (within the Webster City school system). That’s how we knew the need was there.”
Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. each day of the week with an activity to follow, said Sturtevant. Although Asbury church members will only be helping for one week, the program will continue throughout the rest of the summer. Scholtens, a second grade teacher at the elementary, explained the types of activities that will be offered.
“(The program volunteers) are making sure the kids have access to books so they can read and take some of those books home with them if they want to,” Scholtens said. “They also have board games, card games, puzzle pages and just little crafts and little things like that to make something fun that the kids can work on or the parents can work on with their kids if the parents come, too.”
According to NoKidHungry.org, “hungry kids are more likely to experience serious short- and long-term health issues. They tend to have trouble learning and are more prone to behavioral and emotional problems.”
There will be around 15 church volunteers for each lunch shift, Scholtens said.
“It’s a good thing that we have it. The kids really seem to be enjoying seeing their friends when they go there,” said Scholtens. “They’re having fun getting together and visiting.”
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