Kids Need To Eat, Inc. (KN2E) is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit with no paid staff.
KN2E was founded in 2013 to address the problem of many families being unable to provide nutritionally for their children in the summer when school is out and they don’t have access to free meals at school.
We learned about this problem in 2012 when The Salvation Army issued an appeal for additional food drives to stock its food pantry to respond to the influx of families needing help feeding their children.
KN2E’s founder Judie Storandt had recently retired and moved to El Dorado to live near family. A retired disability advocate, she has considerable experience with anti-poverty programs and community organizing. She was blessed to be in a community with a strong volunteering ethic, and partnering with talented individuals and community organizations.
KN2E’s signature program is Kidz LunchBox: Free Summer Food & Fun (formerly called El Dorado LunchBox). For four years it has distributed free meals for kids ages 18 and under in El Dorado, and also Towanda the last two years.
The LunchBox offers free meals for six weeks in the summer (generally July and early August). In response to KN2E reaching out to USD 490, it decided to add free breakfast and lunch to its Summer Academy program during June, starting in 2013.
In 2013 the first LunchBox provided meals to a daily average of 71 kids who took home 3402 meals. In addition weekend backpacks were distributed during ten weeks, for a total of 5355 meals distributed.
In 2014 the program was expanded to include breakfast. A daily average of 125 kids came for meals, and over 12,000 meals distributed. The weekend backpack program was scaled back to 100 (representing 600 additional meals).
In 2015 a satellite meal site was added in Towanda, KS. A daily average of 151 kids came for meals. All kids were offered weekend backpacks. Additional backpacks were donated to USD 490. Some 14,700 meals were distributed at LunchBox meal sites, and an additional 1344 weekend meals by USD 490.
In 2016 a daily average of 174 kids came to the meal sites in El Dorado and Towanda, 16,700 meals distributed, and 1488 donated to USD 490.
In the fall of 2016, KN2E decided to expand its successful LunchBox program by converted a used school bus to a LunchBox on wheels. Painting it a bright green, it is called The GLOW Bus (The Green LunchBox on Wheels).
See experience the LunchBox 2015, view this brief video: CLICK HERE.