Feeding a need

The third year of the summer lunch program at Webster City Middle School is underway. During June and July, children under the age of 18 can visit the middle school from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for a free meal and activities.

The program was started because of the need to feed more nutritional meals to Webster City students. According to Webster City Community School District Director of Food Services Todd Hartnett, over half of the students in the district are on free or reduced lunch prices.

“It’s been going really well,” Hartnett said. “It gets kids active, they get a good meal, and it gets them ready for the day. Kids get a hot meal and get to try stuff that they might not be able to at home.”

Sack lunches are sent out to daycares, Pleasant View and Sunset Heights , vacation Bible schools, and ball games also. According to Hartnett an average of 300 kids are served each day. According to Hartnett the amount of sack lunches delivered compared to the amount of children who come in are about the same. An estimated 150 lunches go out and 150 meals are served at the middle school.

It takes many hands to run the summer lunch program. Aside from Hartnett and his wife, Lori, three kitchen staff and church groups assist.

Local church groups also help with fun activities for the kids.

“People are welcome to come in and volunteer,” said Hartnett.

To volunteer contact the middle school at (515) 832-9220 and ask for Todd or Lori Hartnett.

“This program is more nutritional than anything for the kids,” said Hartnett. “We felt a need for it and I think it’s working out well so far.”