By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator
What do you get when you combine a lively group of volunteers, a healthy lunch, and a neighborhood full of hungry kids?
A great summer picnic and a good time for everyone.
At least that’s how it seemed on a hot summer afternoon at Burton Village in Rehoboth Beach.
Chris Miller-Marcin chairs the Feed the Children program run by volunteers from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes and St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Rehoboth. The Food Bank of Delaware provides lunches through the Summer Food Service Program, one that offers free meals to children statewide.
The Food Bank of Delaware prepares and delivers sandwiches or salads, beverages (milk or juice) and usually a fruit to neighborhoods, child-care centers, churches or a site where committed adult volunteers serve the kids.
The group of volunteers representing the two churches is extremely committed: they visit three sites in the area, and they bring extra things, such as school supplies and games to play with the kids who come out to enjoy a meal and some camaraderie.
Chris is in the middle of a process called discernment; she wants to get accepted into a program to become a deacon in the Episcopal Church. A retired corporate chef and foods service manager, the Milford resident exudes enthusiasm.
“It’s my passion. I have a passion for food, and for children,” she said.
Most of the kids come with siblings, and quite a few took advantage of a tarp spread under a shade tree to eat their lunch, picnic style.
Each of the volunteers had a designated task, including the setting up and packing, and all took time to talk with the kids, to offer them a drink, a notebook for school.
“It’s not just about the food,” said Chris.
The program, which started at Burton Village in July, continues through mid-August. To date this summer, more than 65,000 meals have been delivered to kids up and down the state.
For more information about the Summer Food Service Program at the Food Bank of Delaware, click here.