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Last week I was blessed by turkey wraps. But it wasn’t in the “Lord, bless this food to our bodies…” sense of blessing. It was in serving others. Actually in feeding them turkey wraps. I was thrilled to be able to prep food for the Acts of Love summer lunch program.
During the summer, federally funded school lunch programs are not available. This puts a strain on many families who rely on the lunch program to feed their kids.
Last year, the Cocalico Ministerium started the Acts of Love summer lunch program to help these families. Together with area churches, they are feeding around 100 kids and their parents during the summer months.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, until August 23 free lunches are served in the Denver, Reamstown, and Reinholds parks from 12-1 p.m. The menu changes daily, but always has an entrée such as chef salads, ham and cheese, pulled pork BBQ, or hot turkey sandwiches. Fruit, veggies, snacks, yogurt, and milk are also served. The week of July 4th, the meals will be served Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Pastor Joe Veres, leads the Acts of Love summer lunch program. “While Acts of Love is aimed at kids (especially those who financially qualify for Federal help),” he says “our purpose is to help people who suffer food deficiency. While the Food Bank collects economic need data, we have NO FINANCIAL bars for anyone needing help. If you are hungry, we hope to be able to help you. Likewise, the program is aimed at Cocalico area families, but if someone is from outside the area and has need, they will be served. Age likewise is not a factor. While again, the concern grew for the kids who lose the school based lunch, we know that if the kids aren’t eating then the adults are also going without. If a grandparent brings a grandchild for the lunch, the grandparent is also offered a meal. Hunger doesn’t recognize age.”
The program is funded by donations from churches, businesses, and caring individuals. I encourage you to donate money, food, or your time. Contact Pastor Joe at Faith United Evangelical Lutheran Church: 717-336-2141.
The need for summer lunch programs reaches beyond the Cocalico school district. Pastor Joe would love to share this program and his experience with other churches. “I am an advocate of ‘not reinventing the wheel.’ There was a learning curve for me and the churches who have helped,” says Pastor Joe, “We may be able to reduce the strain on other organizations interested in starting their own program by showing them how we do it.”
If you need help feeding your family, please sign up for this free program. Go to one of the parks listed during serving times to sign up, or call Pastor Joe at 717-336-2141. The Acts of Love program is here to help you keep your belly full and bless you!
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