With school out of session, kids are no longer able to line up for their midday meal in the cafeteria, leaving some families struggling to provide lunch for their children. That is where the Salvation Army’s Feed the Kids summer lunch program steps in.
The program began providing lunch to children (and sometimes their parents) on June 11 this year. It operates Monday through Friday along three delivery routes with 24 stops, and will run through Aug. 24.
As of the end of June, the Salvation Army had delivered more than 30,000 meals, or 2,500 per day. During the same time period last summer it had served 23,315 meals. The total number of lunches served in 2011 was 95,846. According to Major Roger Ross, Salvation Army Milwaukee County Commander, the program is on target to provide 30,000 more lunches this year than last.
“I think the economy is just that bad and they (some Milwaukee residents) don’t have enough money,” said Salvation Army Outreach Services Director Harold Madlom, explaining the need for Feed the Kids.
“Times are tight and every bit helps…they won’t go hungry for the day,” added ride-along attendant James Nazarovech, who passes out the lunches.
The program runs with the help of volunteers and staff. School teacher Lisa Wooll volunteers every weekday during her summer break.
“It makes me feel good to help all those kids and know they will have something to eat,” Wooll said.
Volunteers such as Wooll assemble at 9 a.m. to make the sandwiches and lunch bags. Lunches include a ham and cheese sandwich, orange, dessert and milk.
“Some (volnteers) come here every day. It is amazing what they will do,” Madlom said.
For Madlom and the Salvation Army, assisting these children is their Christian duty. “We are doing this because of our faith and commitment to Christ.”