- Kids Need To Eat, Inc. (KN2E) announced plans to expand its popular summer meals program by retrofitting a school bus to take meals to kids in Butler County.
Since 2013 KN2E has distributed free summer meals for kids in El Dorado, and also in Towanda for the past two years. For six weeks in July and early August, kids coming to LunchBox meal sites pick out meals to eat at home. Meal sites are open weekdays, and on Fridays offer extra meals for the weekend.
This summer the Kidz LunchBox provided over 16,000 meals to a daily average of 174 kids. “The LunchBox helps to replace meals that many kids eat for free at school,” explained KN2E Vice President Barbara Day, “Summer is the hungriest time of the year for many kids from low-income families who depend on school meals for food.”
In order to reach more kids in 2017, KN2E plans to expand this successful program by painting a used school bus bright green, and replacing the seats with cabinets. Kids will enter the Green LunchBox on Wheels (GLOW) bus at the front, walk down the aisle to pick out meals to take home to eat, and exit at the back.
“This is the most feasible and efficient way for KN2E to expand its LunchBox program to help feed more children,” said KN2E Board member Sarah Johnston. “Our vision is to partner with local groups to host meal sites where they are most needed,”
The GLOW Bus will stop for 30 – 40 minutes at various sites in and near El Dorado. Local volunteers will assist with greeting children, lining them up to board the bus, and offering activities and other incentives to encourage kids to come for meals.
Retrofitting a used school bus could cost as much as $55,000. KN2E is seeking business sponsors interested in helping with this one-time expense. For more information, contact KN2E President Judie Storandt, firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-308-9158 (cell/text).
“By connecting kids with nutritious meals where they live and play, they are better able to start the school year ready to learn,” noted KN2E Treasurer Roxann Cool.