The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Summer lunch program begins July 16

 


To The Eagle:

Plans are underway to offer free sack lunches to youth in our community this summer. Lunch on Us is a grass roots effort designed to help our local kids have a healthier summer.

According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 people in the U.S. face hunger every year. The rates of hunger in children are even higher, with about 1 in 5 lacking proper access to food at some point during the year. The realities of food insecurity often mean that kids especially lack food access in summer months — a time when families can't rely on free or reduced lunch programs to pick up some of the burden of feeding their children. "About 21 million children receive free or reduced lunch in school," says Ross Fraser, director of media relations at Feeding America, "And, of those, about 10 million also receive free breakfast. When schools close, about 18 million of those kids lose access to free meals in the summer.

In coordination with the Wahkiakum School District’s Summer School schedule, we will offer lunches at JA Wendt Elementary School, Mon – Thursday at noon, beginning July 16 and ending August 16. Community members have been meeting for a month working out details on how to bring a summer lunch program to kids in Cathlamet. Please consider joining the discussion and ongoing planning by attending the meetings which are held every Monday, 1 p.m., at the Wahkiakum Community Center on Main St. Volunteers and donations are both needed, and organizers are confident that our community will support this important effort. Details on what food supplies are needed and where you can send your cash donations will be available June 14. Please direct your questions to Debbie Lincoln at deborah.lincoln@gmail.com.

Youth will also have an opportunity to take their lunches and walk across the street to the Hope Center and join with area Senior Citizens on Thursdays for Eat, Play & Read. Blending the energy of children with the wisdom of our elders, the two groups will meet weekly to enjoy games, reading and dining. Studies show that summer reading is critical for students to retain knowledge and skills learned in the previous school year. We want to help keep kids on track, so we are creating an opportunity for them to read out loud and share their favorite books with a different generation. When people are raised in different eras, their values and perceptions of the world can be quite different, and this can lead to difficulties in understanding, respecting, and valuing one another. Young and old can fulfill the role of student and teacher for each other, and it's not always the older person who does the teaching. Children like to feel needed, and they can teach elders lots of things; like what a fidget spinner is or what Pokémon GO is all about and how to find some cool stuff on the Internet.

With your help, we can help our kids have a healthier summer. Hunger doesn’t have to happen here.

Suzanne Holmes

Cathlamet

 

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