BARNESVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) Volunteers come from all situations and all walks of life.
Some are teens who remember the pain of hunger when school was out for the summer.
Others are teachers, retirees, homemakers and ministers.
Last summer they prepared and delivered 16,500 lunches.
Every day’s menu is different, but it always included a sandwich, a fruit snack, a sweet snack and perhaps chips or an extra item.
They deliver to children in housing complexes in Barnesville, Belmont, Bethesda as well as children in homes in the area.
They say some of the parents are at work and have left an older sibling in charge, some face challenges including addictions or unemployment, and some have more kids in the house than money in their budget.
Their system has evolved over the years.
They saying offering the meals for pickup didn’t work, because people didn’t come to get them.
Even delivering them to a central point at each housing complex didn’t work, because adults would go through them or eat the lunches meant for the kids.
So they now hand deliver each lunch to the child at their apartment.
They say it’s all worthwhile when they hear the squeals of “Here comes the lunch lady!”
It’s all run by volunteers, who do the preparing, packing and organizing out of the basement of the
Main Street United Methodist Church in Barnesville.
They say COVID 19 has prompted them to make some changes—wearing masks, standing apart, and limiting the number of volunteers in the kitchen and community room.
But they’re going forward for the project they believe in.
They start each summer when school is out, and go until school opens again in late summer.
They get no subsidies, and are always grateful for any monetary donations.