INDIANAPOLIS — Local pastors have teamed up at Saint Paul AME Church to provide hot lunches for any and all kids.
Data from 'No Kid Hungry in Indiana' shows that only 14 percent of kids who have free or reduced lunches at school are getting summer meals. To help out, the church is serving about 250 kids a day.
"They're wholesome meals, and there is a need for healthy meals during the summer," Pastor Toni Bunch, of Pastor Lilies of The Valley Christian Church, said. "We want more to come; there's never not enough."
The menu changes , and kids are loving it. But it's also taking off financial pressure, reducing stress on families.
"It feels good because I don't have to pay for it or anything," Micah Royal, a local kid taking advantage of the free meals, said.
Twenty-three percent of Hoosier students struggle with hunger, and the church hopes to change that,
"I think my greatest gift from this is when the children come back and say can I have seconds? And I say you can have thirds if you want," Pastor Bunch and Dr. Michael Carson said.
The kids appreciate the work of the volunteers and grateful for the meals with every bite.
Along with the lunches at the church, you can text FOOD to 877-877 to find the closest free meal so your student can enjoy their summer with a full stomach.
Saint Paul AME Church is also asking for backpack donations, so they can give out bags to each student that comes for lunch. You can contact Dr. Carson at 765-434-1701 to help.
Saint Paul AME Church
Free lunches: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
1825 East 25th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46218