Opinion: Support Community Lunch Program for Kids
To the Editor:
For the first summer since the Covid 19 pandemic, local school districts did not offer “grab and go” breakfast/lunch programs, where parents can pick up food for their children during the summer months. It is during these school breaks when children go without the “safety net” of the free/ reduced breakfast/lunch program, which they receive during the school year.Though several local districts in the area did offer congregate meal programs, parents needed to transport their child to the meal site each day. These programs might work well in urban areas, but in rural St. Lawrence County, with the cost of gas at an all time high, this option is not always possible for many low income families. It is also a struggle if the parents are working and not available to pick up the food at the designated times.
This past summer was especially challenging for families facing food insecurity, as there were no other food programs available (as there have been for the past two summers), no stimulus checks, and with inflation driving up the cost of food and everything else.
This summer, starting June 15th and running through August 31st, CLPK ordered a total of 18,141 pounds of food from the Food Bank of Central New York. This food at the cost of $12,657.66 allowed CLPK to distribute the equivalent of 11,925 meals to local children facing food insecurity this summer. It is our hope that families utilizing CLPK will also utilize their local food pantry, resulting in enough food to cover nine of the ten weeks of summer vacation.
The Community Lunch Program For Kids would not exist without the support of our very generous churches, businesses, civic groups, and individual donors! This summer the cost of our distributions nearly doubled what we spent in years past. We cannot thank our donors enough for their kind and generous support.
And because food insecurity does not just exist during summer vacation, CLPK will continue to support our local children over both Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Break, as we have for the past six years.
If you would like to join us in our fight against food insecurity in the North Country, we would be delighted to have you as a part of our team. Your tax deductible donation can be made out to The Community Lunch Program For Kids (or CLPK) and sent to Community Lunch Program for Kids, 42 S. Main Street, P.O. Box 225 Norwood, New York 13668.
Enjoy the colors of the season and thank you, for helping us, help the children!
Community Lunch Program for Kids