LINCOLNTON – Boger City United Methodist Church is one of about a dozen sites providing free meals for children ages 18 and younger this summer. But before the bagged lunches are passed out, the church will host activities daily through Aug. 10.
This is Boger City UMC’s fourth summer participating in the program, according to a press release from the church.
Amanda Davis, business manager for Lincoln County Schools’ Child Nutrition Department, said around 50 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch during the school year, and many of those students rely on the summer meal program for sustenance during summer.
“For many children, summer vacation exposes them to an increased risk of hunger and developmental decline,” a press release from Boger stated.
And those risks are why Boger church members are participating in the program again this year. According to the press release, Boger was a popular stop last year – it served 500 children meals and 300 adults healthy snacks and water. In addition to food, children were given books to take home, clothing items and hygiene products, and there were several surprise guests/entertainers.
Those efforts earned Boger special recognition from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Child Nutrition Department – it won the 2017 NC Superior Site Award.
According to the press release, Boger volunteers are expecting to continue the tradition of excellence and attract a large crowd.
“During our first week of 2018 Summer Lunch Program, we have been extremely pleased with (the) response, and number of children and their parents/grandparents attending our meal site increased daily,” Sandy H. Tomlinson, BCUMC summer lunch program site manager, said in the press release. “We provided a bag lunch to 69 children and a healthy snack to 30 adults. … The adults accompanying their children and grandchildren to our church’s 2018 Summer Lunch Program have been most impressed with (the) quality and variety of the lunches served.”