Did you know more than 52,000 children are food insecure in Fairfax County? That equates to 28% of Fairfax County Public School’s 188,000 students being in the free and reduced-price meals program. Living here in one of the US’s most wealth counties, this boggles my mind.
But this summer Springfield has a new program to serve some of these children, right here in our community.
It’s called Summer Lunch Bunch. It’s a new, local opportunity to volunteer a small amount of time, during your lunch break.
Some children who participate in the County’s free and reduced-price lunch program during the school year continue with the program at summer school and camps. However due to transportation issues many children aren’t able to participate. Summer Lunch Bunch comes to the rescue by delivering lunch directly to places where children live. This summer, volunteers will be delivering and serving nutritional meals to children ages 1-18 at Chelsea Square, Springfield Gardens and Springfield Square apartments.
Lunches are funded by the USDA and prepared and packaged by school food service professionals. Summer Lunch Bunch volunteers pick up meals from a central distribution point and delivered to one of the three lunch locations.
Over 700 volunteer hours are needed for this program. You may volunteer one time, once a week or every day – whatever fits your summer routine. This opportunity is ideal for co-workers, neighbors, families and civic groups. Volunteers participate in a one-hour training session in advance of their first day of service.
Each weekday – Monday, June 26 through Friday, August 25 – six volunteers are needed at each of Springfield’s three locations. Volunteer hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Volunteers pick up meals (and a Fun Bucket) at The Journey Church on Franconia Road before heading to their assigned lunch spot. Meals are served noon to 1 p.m. Volunteers finish out their service by returning unused food and materials back to the church.
Together with the Summer Lunch Bunch organizers and sponsors I invite you to join the momentum and help us take a bite out of child hunger in Springfield this summer.
Nancy-jo Manney has worked for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce since 1998. She enjoys sharing news about good things happening in her community.