Free summer lunches offered for McCloud children

Skye Kinkade
John and Vicki Billdt, members of the McCloud Evangelical Presbyterian Church, serve lunch to children last week at Hoo Hoo Park. The summer lunch program, sponsored by the McCloud faith community and service groups, will run through the Aug. 15 every week day. It is free to any child who wishes to participate.

A group of McCloud churches and organizations are working together with the goal of ensuring all McCloud children have nutritious lunches this summer.

Children of all ages are being served lunch Monday through Friday at Hoo Hoo Park from 11 a.m. to noon. No one is turned away, said program coordinator Anne Mero.

The program began June 16 and will run through Aug. 15, right before school begins.

All four of McCloud’s churches – First Baptist, Calvary Christian Center, Evangelical Presbyterian, and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church – are participating, as are the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, McCloud Garden Club, and McCloud Resource Center.

Mero coordinated the effort after learning that 85 percent of McCloud’s school children receive free lunches.

“We are staying away from the fruit and cookies. The lunches are simple: sandwiches, fruit and milk, those kinds of things,” said Mero.

More than 20 children showed up to eat the first week, according to Mero. She hopes attendance will go up as more people hear about the program.