DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) — Children and families can pick up lunches five days a week this Summer at the Dubuque food pantry on Jackson Street.
Millions of children go hungry in the Summer months without the meal stability school gives them. Many organizations try to combat this problem in their communities, including the Dubuque Food Pantry.
Children up to the age of 18 can come by the food pantry from 10:30 a.m. to noon and choose from various options.
The food pantry has been running this program for four years. Theresa Caldwell, manager of the food pantry, says they went with this approach because it gives the children more of a choice when it comes to getting a nutritious meal they may struggle to find while school is out.
“The reason we went to this was the kids liked it better. We found that they were, we’d find apple sauce smashed on the sidewalk or something thrown out that didn’t need to be thrown out because the kids didn’t like it. Well this way we let them choose what they like.”
Cadlwell says many families struggle to make ends meet in the Summer and this leads to missing meals and important nutrition children need. The food pantry manager says she relates to these families’ struggle.
“At the end of the Summer some single moms will come up to me with tears in their eyes and say ‘thank you’ because we couldn’t have done it without you. Frankly I was a single mom. If I would’ve had this available on a daily basis with school out it would’ve been a blessing to me too.”
Each child is given a reusable bag that they are asked to bring with them each day they come back for a meal. The program runs up until the day before school starts back up on August 23rd.
Caldwell says the food pantry is always looks for donations and volunteers to keep the program running.
If you want to donate or volunteer to help with the lunches to-go program you can call Theresa Caldwell at 563-583-4440