For many families in our community summer means days of play, fun and adventures of every kind. For yet others, summer means increased childcare expenses, increased food needs and the wondering of how the family’s needs will be met.
Hand2Hand is a local organization which sends over 200 weekend food backpacks home with Byron Center Public School students. Hand2Hand’s concern is, “what will the children eat over the summer?” The U. S. government sponsors a marvelous summer food program for children, but the school district in which a student resides has to have 50% of its student population on the free/reduced lunch program during the school year. Though we’re grateful Byron Center is financially stable, what about the children who may not be getting all they need nutritionally throughout the summer months?
Byron Community Ministries has been delivering sack suppers each Wednesday throughout the school year to a particular neighborhood, handing the bags to the children as they walk from the school bus. Seeing how the families receive the sacks prompted BCM to continue and expand the lunch program we started last summer, so each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we have different groups of people join us at BCM to pack and deliver lunches. In conjunction with the food, BCM is hosting two reading clubs in two mobile home parks. To keep the children scholastically engaged, to build relationship with the children—to “just” have fun with the students, is our goal.
Perhaps you’re someone who has the experience of opening your refrigerator to a vast array of healthy choices of what to eat. Enjoy! Give thanks! Please keep in mind this is not everyone’s same experience, even for some in our immediate neighborhood. We hear the argument of, “Well, I see their parents purchasing McDonald’s food and if they don’t have money, why are they there?” or “They bought a half dozen lottery tickets in front of me at the store.” Whereas that very well may be true, children can’t change the bad choices of their parents, but they too often suffer the consequences of their parent’s poor choices. Too often….
If you might want to assist in some way in the lunch making, lunch delivery or donate lunch making supplies, BCM would welcome it. Our most needed items include: Lunch bags, grape jelly, whole wheat sandwich bread, bananas/apples/oranges.
Thank you, Byron Center.