News release from The Abilene Hunger Coalition:

On Monday, July 29, 2019 through Friday, August 16, 2019, (Monday-Friday) the Abilene Hunger Coalition will open 14-meal sites located across the city of Abilene to children 18 years and younger. The 14-meal sites are all privately funded and will fill the gap after all AISD Summer meal sites close on Friday, July 26. The Kids Eat Free Summer Meals program was created to address the 3-week summer meals gap after AISD provides meal sites during the months of June and July to approximately 70% of the children in the AISD who are eligible for the free and reduced breakfast and lunch program.

In 2018, through the Basic Needs Network, both the Abilene Hunger Coalition and the Highland church were approached to find a solution to the 3-week gap by providing sites across the city. This summer, we have increased the number of sites from 3 to 14-privately funded sites. The 14-meal sites are strategically placed in low income areas of the city to address the transportation issues many families with children face, making it less difficult to travel to and from a site. The 14 meal sites include the Highland Church of Christ, Freedom Fellowship, Abilene WIC office, Southern Hills Church of Christ, Salvation Army, City Lights, Love & Care Ministries, Hillcrest Church of Christ, Mission on the Move Soup Kitchen (Tuesday only), Grace Fellowship, BOBS (Breakfast of Beech Street, Faith Works of Abilene, Minter Lane Church of Christ, and the Abilene Mockingbird Branch Library. All days and serving times may vary from site to site.

Currently, two of the 14 sites, the Abilene WIC office and the Abilene Mockingbird Branch Library are hosting a site through the AISD summer meals program. Both sites will be able to continue offering meals through the sponsorship and collaboration of several organization through monetary donations and volunteers. The organization sponsoring these sites include the Highland Church of Christ, Hendrick Hospital, both the Kiwanis Club of Abilene and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Abilene and various individual donors.

Last summer, with funding provided by the Highland Church of Christ and the Hunger Coalition were able to serve lunch meals at 3 sites—Highland, Freedom, and Grace Fellowship. This was with the help of 4 teams, 60+ volunteers, who oversaw the cooking, delivery, serving, and clean-up of the meals. As a result, a total of 1,132 meals were served to low income families—679 children and 196 caregivers/guardians. The impact made a difference in our community, but when you consider the number of children in AISD who are eligible for free/reduced meals, we still have a big gap in the number of children we could serve.

More information along with the Volunteer Job Descriptions for the different Serving Meal Site Teams and the Sign-Up to Serve link are located on the web site…

REMINDER: All volunteers must pass a background check prior to volunteering.