Needing volunteers, Abilene Hunger Coalition prepares for Summer Meal Program


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Without a summer meal program, almost 70% of Abilene ISD students 17 and under would be without a nutritious meal, but with the school’s program ending three weeks before school begins again, the possibility of students going hungry still exists.

The Abilene Hunger Coalition and volunteer Doug Williamson are looking to fill that three-week gap.

Williamson, a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club of Abilene, has been volunteering for the Hunger Coalition for three years.

He said that he and other Kiwanis members have volunteered and “taken ownership” of two of the meal program’s locations.

Williamson said that the mission of the Abilene Hunger Coalition and the Kiwanis Club line up perfectly, and they are glad to help serve the kids of the community.

Becky Almanza and Reagan Van Coutren, both of the Hunger Coalition, want to serve not only the kids, but anyone who is in need of food.

“Anyone is welcome to come,” Van Coutren said.

Van Coutren also said that due to COVID-19 protocols last year, they were forced to create a drive-thru-only meal program, but that they are bringing it back because of the amount of people they were able to serve.

Almanza said that during the meal program’s first year, they gave out 1,100 meals over those three weeks. In 2019, that increased to 4,000, and because of the convenience of the drive-thru service in 2020, that increased to 9,000 meals.

This year, they hope that they can reach more families with both the dine-in and drive-thru options available, but are in need of more volunteers.

While the Kiwanis Club has volunteers covered for two of the locations, they are still in need of help at these locations listed below.

Almanza said they need four volunteers per location per day at 13 locations, bringing the total to 52.

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