Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | May 26, 2017

Fellowship Cup’s summer meals program expecting large participation

May 18, 2017

By Bryce Kelly, Mt. Pleasant News

 

School is winding down, which means the Fellowship Cup’s Summer Sacks program is just getting started, and is in need of a few more helpful volunteers and donors.

The Fellowship Cup’s Summer Sacks program was started several years ago in an effort to provide sack lunches to Henry County children who receive free or reduced-priced school lunches through the school year. Since its inception, the program has grown to provide any Henry County child in need of a sack lunch during the summer months – regardless of a family’s income or size.

Ken Brown, director of the Mt. Pleasant-based Fellowship Cup, says the program’s goal is to decrease food insecurity within Henry County’s school-aged children and teenage population during the summer months when school meals are not available.

“Last year, we gave out roughly 8,000 lunches, and this year we expect to provide at least 8,000 lunches, if not more,” said Brown of the program, which runs from June 5 to Aug. 18, Monday through Friday.

The only weekday that lunches will not be served this summer will be the Fourth of July.

“For Henry County, the percentage of kids who are food insecure is well over 25 percent, and that’s just during the school year. We figure that number grows even higher over the summer, so we want our focus to be on the children for this program,” he said. “With summer being a time when so many kids are out of school and therefore away from a place where they know they can get at least two meals every weekday, we want to be able to fill that need for them the best that we can.”

Currently, the Fellowship Cup is accepting donations for the program as well as volunteers to help deliver and assemble lunches. Sandwich and snack size plastic baggies are greatly needed, says Brown, as are brown paper lunch sacks. In regard to food, Brown says 100 percent juice box drinks are also a yearly need within the program. Brand name items are not required.

“We can always use volunteers,” said Brown. “Whatever people can give, whether it’s their time or their resources to help make this program possible is really, really appreciated. I believe the need for this program is greater than any of us knows, so to be able to do this for the children in our community is really special.”

This year, in an effort to cut down on wasted meals, the Fellowship Cup will stop delivery to families who register for lunch if they miss two consecutive lunch pick-ups without notifying the Fellowship Cup prior to delivery. If this occurs, parents will have to call the Fellowship Cup to be reinstated to the delivery list.

In addition to their main lunch pick-up location at the Mt. Pleasant Fellowship Cup, the organization will also be delivering meals to the Mt. Pleasant locations of Chesapeake Apartments, South Street trailer court and Green Valley trailer court. Outside of Mt. Pleasant, deliveries will also be made to the Salem and New London communities.

Henry County adults who want to receive a meal through the program may also do so, however there is a $1 charge per meal for adults.

According to statistics cited at the Fellowship Cup’s website, Mt. Pleasant has a roughly 44 percent free and reduced lunch program. National statistics suggest only 11 percent of these children will get lunch at home during the summer months when school is not in session.

“People who are interested in receiving meals can sign up anytime throughout the duration of the program, but we do ask that parents call us sooner rather than later if they know they want their children to participate, simply so we know how much we need to make, and how much food, volunteers and supplies we need to get,” said Brown. “We don’t turn anyone away because we believe in the need and necessity of this program.”

 

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