This Thursday the La Crosse Salvation Army is kicking off its 16th year of its ‘Feed the Kids’ program.
The program is meant to provide children and their families free lunches during summer vacation.
“We view this program as a very important program that we operate here in the community because it’s a way to reach out and help children who normally get that nice, nutritious meal at school. Just to help them keep that consistency during the summer, keep their strength up,“ says Major Jeff Richardson, with the La Crosse Salvation Army. “Sometimes it’s just good to have a drink when you’re out and it’s a hot day, keep them hydrated.“
As the program has continued to grow throughout the years, so has the need for supplies.
The non-profit says the items they need the most range from paper lunch bags, to water bottles, to single servings of crackers and granola bars.
“We try to provide a sack lunch, it’s a simple meal. Obviously peanut butter is a staple and I’m sure the children have plenty of peanut butter during the summer. But lunch meats, those kinds of things. Cheese, I know Great Lakes Cheese helps us a lot with cheese, but still it’s a daily demand. Mayonnaise, perhaps you know a lot of the different condiments that go into making the sandwiches,“ said Richardson.
Richardson says the ‘Feed the Kids’ program is one of the largest programs the Salvation Army of La Crosse runs, and adds the community has helped it continue to grow.
“I’m always amazed at how many volunteers we have to help with that. I’m always amazed that if we run out of a product, we run out of a particular thing we throw it up on Facebook or put it on our website, and we’ve got gobs of stuff coming in. It’s just amazing how the community supports a program that they see value in,“ he said.
Donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army building in downtown La Crosse.
If you are interested in volunteering to help put together lunches for the ‘Feed the Kids’ program, or want to become a recipient, you can click here.