Now that most schools are out for summer recess, a lot of less fortunate children could be missing out on a meal.
But a new program kicked off in Saginaw this week to make sure the kids get lunch while reading a book.
Those meals are in the form of sack lunches with sandwiches, fruit, veggies and milk. Children receive the food for free when then show up at the Read and Feed program going on at the Center of Hope on Emerson Street. The center is an offshoot of the St. Mary's medical campus. Kids from the age of 1 to 18 years old can turn out to the facility Monday through Friday from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. to get some grub.
"During the school year there is that one good meal they get a day," said Starr Watley with the Center of Hope. "So during the summer, a lot of kids aren't getting that meal, so we hope to be a safety net for that so the kids will still be able to get a great, healthy, nutritious meal."
They also get to read books, so besides feeding their bellies, they're feeding their minds.
Volunteers were busy Tuesday stuffing envelopes to mail out news about the program. The staff hopes to feed at least 50 kids per day.
The Read and Feed program also brings personal fulfillment to Watley.
"I get just pure enjoyment," explained Watley. "The Center of Hope itself, we're here to help people. And this is just another aspect of that. If we can help people to help themselves, that's great."
The first Read and Feed program at the Center of Hope ends on Aug. 24.
Sponsors of the program include the Department of Education and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
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