An all-volunteer effort will serve lunches to children at 16 sites in Wichita, Haysville and Oaklawn during spring break.
From March 14-18, Partners for Wichita and Kansas Food Bank will join with individual volunteers to provide and serve about 4,000 meals during its “Filling the Gap – Lunches for Kids” program.
“For kids who are on the lunch programs at school, that is their main source of food for the day,” said Sheila Cairns, program coordinator. “When there’s a spring break or summer break, they don’t have access to that.
“Our goal is just to supplement those meals so those children – and really anyone in need – can have something to eat.”
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Box lunches will be served from noon to 1 p.m. The lunches are free to anyone 18 or younger. No registration is required.
From noon to 1 p.m. March 14, the group will distribute lunches from a parking lot at 13th St. and Oliver, where a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and a QuikTrip store recently closed.
“That is an area that has been hit hard … and is one of the ‘food desert’ areas of Wichita,” Cairns said.
Some sites will offer craft projects or other activities for children during meal times next week. The Medical Service Bureau will offer free vision screenings at Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, 1502 E. 17th St., on March 14 and at Salvation Army Orchard Corps, 1910 S. Everett, on March 16.
Partners for Wichita is still accepting donations of fruits such as clementine oranges and bananas, Cairns said. The group also collects individually wrapped healthy snacks that don’t need refrigeration, such as beef jerky, fruit cups, fruit roll-ups, granola bars, dried fruit, crackers, pretzels and pudding cups.
Donations can be taken to the food bank or to any of the sites between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays. For more information, contact Cairns at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 316-263-1389.
Following are the sites where lunches will be served:
▪ Delano: New Covenant Church, 1710 W. Douglas
▪ Haysville: Haysville United Methodist Church, 601 E. Grand
▪ North Wichita: Evergreen Neighborhood Resource Center, 2700 N. Woodland; Inter-Faith Ministries Villa Court, 930 N. Market
▪ Northeast Wichita: Atwater Neighborhood Resource Center, 2755 E. 19th St.; Dellrose United Methodist Church, 1502 N. Dellrose; True Word Church, 1108 N. Oliver; Urban League of Kansas, 2418 E. Ninth St.; Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, 1502 E. 17th St.
▪ Oaklawn: Lighthouse Church, 3401 E. 47th St. South
▪ South/southeast Wichita: Colvin Neighborhood Resource Center, 2820 S. Roosevelt; Hilltop Community Center, 1329 S. Terrace; Salvation Army Citadel Corps, 1739 S. Elpyco
▪ South/southwest Wichita: Cross Point Church, 1515 E. Harry; Salvation Army Orchard Corps, 1910 S. Everett
▪ West Wichita: West Heights United Methodist Church, 745 N. Westlink