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.