Children struggling for summer lunch rises

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU) - Schools are out for summer leaving some children hungry for lunch.

The Salvation Army in La Crosse is seeing a greater need than ever before of kids needing to be provided lunch during the summer.

The “Feed the Kids program” is starting earlier this year, and the number of sack lunches has doubled.

The volunteers got many “thank you’s” as they handed out the sack lunches.

“It will save us from having to figure out what we were going to do for lunch,” said Onalaska mother, Donya Miller.

The program started on June 6th, earlier than ever before.

“Historically we would start a week after school got out but last year I saw a little kid crying he was so happy he got to eat, I thought we’re starting as soon as school gets out,” said Volunteer Coordinator Jeff Hoch.

And they are making double the amount of lunches they made last year.

“We made 400 today. Families just can’t make it for whatever reason but it’s the kids, they’re innocent victims,” said Hoch.

The Salvation Army has spread out its reach this year. They are covering areas in both La Crosse and Onalaska.

In each sack lunch there are chips, a sandwich, a fruit snack, a little dessert, and a juice box.

All of the items are donated. Needed items are peanut butter, jelly, fruit cups, pudding cups, granola bars, lunch meat, lunch sacks and sandwich bags. Anything can be donated to the Salvation Army Center, 223 N. 8th Street in La Crosse.

The Eau Claire Salvation Army will hand out lunches Tuesdays and Thursdays at Pederson Elementary in Altoona. You can bring donations to the Hastings Way center.

“Seeing the kid’s line up at the end of the truck was really sweet it almost brought tears to my eyes,” said volunteer Leslie Patterson.

The Salvation Army will be giving out the lunches 5 days a week.

“Certain area’s on Friday we will try to double up so the kids have something for the weekend,” said Hoch.

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  • by gar on Jun 7, 2012 at 05:53 AM
    where in the heck are the parents? What is wrong with these people? Yes of course we all care and will help the kids, but come on man!
  • by Wisconsin on Jun 7, 2012 at 05:28 AM
    Poor mom now doesn't have to "figure out what to do for lunches" We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches..(still do) Is that too much to ask of parents nowadays?
  • by Why on Jun 6, 2012 at 09:25 PM
    There are assistance programs for families. How come these kids are not on these programs?
  • by Lynda Location: eau claire on Jun 6, 2012 at 09:19 PM
    So why is Eau Claire only handing out lunches on Tuesday and Thursday? And why only in Altoona?
  • by hollie on Jun 6, 2012 at 04:40 PM
    Is there any program like this in Chippewa Falls? We are really struggling, and since my husband works he makes just enough for us not to qualify for help. We have never needed help before, but when we need a little help we can't get any! Wonder if he should just quit his job then we would qualify for everything! It's just not right! We are trying our best but its not enough!
    • reply
      by Tom on Jun 7, 2012 at 04:35 AM in reply to hollie
      Hollie Call the United way they may be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck
    • reply
      by EC citizen on Jun 7, 2012 at 05:26 AM in reply to hollie
      Thank you for keeping up the good fight and shelves may offer some help. Have you shopped at Aldi's in Eau Claire..groceries at about one-third the price..up to one-half off in some cases.
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