Summer lunch program expands

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues and states begin to try getting back to some version of normal life, uncertainties still abound. 

With that in mind, House of Neighborly Service announced last week that it will be expanding its summer lunch program to provide more food in more places for children to have over the summer. 

“With all the uncertainties of whether people are going to be going back to work or whether parents are going to be home with kids and just not knowing what was going to happen, we decided people might be more in need of groceries this summer,” HNS Executive Director Tina Charron explained. 

Typically, the nonprofit would offer free daily lunches for children in need in Valmeyer, Waterloo, Prairie du Rocher and Hecker. 

This summer, HNS will distribute a family lunch bag full of a week’s worth of lunches at to-be-determined locations in those four towns and Columbia, which another summer lunch program previously serviced. 

Providing the service once a week not only allows HNS to cut down on the volunteers it needs to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, but it also lets it include a greater number of food items like bread, lunch meat, cheese, chips, cookies, granola bars, fruit cups, pudding cups, macaroni and cheese, soup, fresh produce and lemonade.  

“It’s going to be more food than what we normally do,” Charron said, noting there will be some combination of those items in each sack with a guaranteed main dish. “Each week we’re hoping to have a little bit different of a variety in there.” 

The program begins the first week of June and will run until mid-August. 

To register, complete the form on the nonprofit’s website – mocohouseofneighborlyservice.weebly.com – or call HNS at 618-939-8900. Registration ends May 15.

Individuals can also help by donating lunch box food items at the nonprofit’s office, located at 1331 Jamie Lane in Waterloo. Those items, like chips or granola bars, should be family size. 

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