Local program brings hungry kids more than just lunch

While summer often means relaxing and planning your next vacation, many of our residents are wondering how they will feed their children lunch today.  
Free and reduced lunch programs at school tackle the food insecurity during the school year.
Kansas has one of the worst childhood hunger problems in the country, with one in every five children living in the state is food insecure, according to the Kansas Department of Education.
Augusta’s summer lunch program is in its second year and is proving to be a success with a large group of kids participating daily.  Not only do they get a nutritious meal, but they are able to reconnect with school friends and make new ones. There’s an easy camaraderie between the kids and program volunteers, as well.
This month is Lunch Across Kansas Month and Augusta’s summer lunch location was included on a special tour by a member of Kansas Appleseed, an organization that has partnered with the Kansas Department of Education.  Staff members are traveling across the state to see first-hand what  locations are doing to engage kids participating in the summer lunch programs.
Christina Ostmeyer visited Augusta’s summer lunch program at Robinson Elementary School earlier this week.  She assisted kids in creating a mural that will be go back to legislators in Topeka.
“It’s great to see people who are helping to ensure Kansas kids have access to healthy meals in the summer,” she said.
Ostmeyer spoke with Augusta’s summer  program director Jill Bostwick and Augusta USD 402 Superintendent John Black while making her visit.
Augusta’s summer program will run through Friday, July 28.  11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Free for anyone 18 and under.
Kansas Appleseed champions laws and policies that support vulnerable and excluded Kansans.  For more information, go to: www.kansasappleseed.org.