Kids Connect 2020 Recap

One Community recently wrapped up its youth summer lunch program called Kids Connect. Emalee Duggins and I (Lexie Schuman) led this program for the second year and helped served the South Whitley families with a free meal to kids eighteen and younger. For this summer, families picked up meals at the Schultz Ministry Center every day of the week for ten weeks. We are proud to announce a total of 1,478 meals were served this summer to the local community. This number shows growth in outreach since last summer’s total. The average meals served each day is approximately thirty meals.  First and foremost, Kids Connect would like to thank Parkview Hospital for being the program’s funder. Their financial assistance lifted many burdens and allowed us to create a meaningful outreach. Kids Connect ran from June 1st to August 7th, 2020. Due to the current Covid-19 safety practices, meals were for pick-up only. This meant we needed milk cartons to send home with the students’ lunches. Kids Connect would like to thank Prairie Farms in Fort Wayne, IN for donating milk for the first four weeks of the program. We also would like to thank Ruben Rose, Rhonda Sroufe, Sage Sroufe, and Georgia Tenney for covering the cost of milk for the final six weeks of our program. Additionally, Emily Studebaker volunteered her time every week to pick-up and deliver the milk cartons. During July, Michele Massie spent her Wednesday’s cooking the meal for the day. Her assistance allowed Kids Connect to provide something new and delicious for lunch. Kids Connect would also like to thank local community members who donated items such as baggies, chips, or fruit cups to our program throughout the summer. The donations and help from our volunteers were greatly appreciated and enabled our program to thrive.   Kids Connect would also like to thank Carlee LaRue at the Whitley County Health Department, Lynn Nayes at the Fort Wayne Volunteer Center, the Cleveland Township Fire Department, the Whitley County Humane Shelter, the South Whitley Public Library, and the South Whitley Preschool for providing take-home activities with the lunches. These activities included crafts, nature walks, bingo boards, and a plethora of children’s books for families to keep.  Emalee Duggins and I are very grateful to have been a part of your summer and look forward to returning next year! Thank you to everyone who helped make this program a success! Sincerely,  Lexie Schuman Kids Connect Director

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