A Free Meal Brightened This Child’s Whole Summer

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August 23, 2017 By: JT Pinther Category: SHH News

The numbers behind Summer Food Serve Program (SFSP) sites each year are impressive. The numbers of meals and kids served always show that kids truly rely on this program, which distributes free meals at sites across Minnesota. SFSP works to close the meal gap for kids during the summer, a time when children are out of school without access to regular free and reduced-price meals.

As this summer draws to a close, the data for summer 2017 is not quite available. But in 2016, 590,000 meals were served in Minnesota by Second Harvest Heartland’s grant-funded sponsors. The numbers say a lot.

But it’s the stories that move us.

Will Warnock, the Swift County SFSP site lead in Benson, MN recounted this story of a child his volunteers met this summer.

On the first day that we served this year, a little boy (about age 10) came up after the meal to dump his tray.

He said, “Thank you. That was good,” and turned to leave.

One of our volunteers said, “I’m glad you liked it. Come back tomorrow and get some more.”

He said, “You mean you’re gonna’ be here again tomorrow?”

She said, “Yes, tomorrow and every day.”

He stood still, looking stunned. Then he his face burst into a smile of joy, he pumped his fist in the air and said, “Awesome! That’s great! I’ll be back!”

He went to the door, paused and yelled, “See you tomorrow!”

This little boy would not have gotten this meal without Will’s dedication and Second Harvest Heartland. To get help buying serving supplies for this summer’s meals, Will applied for a grant from us in partnership with Share Our Strength. Some of the items the grant allowed Will to purchase for Swift County’s SFSP program were griddles, food thermometers to help maintain safe food temperatures, an ice cooler to store and distribute milk and more. “It would have been impossible to have [the materials needed] without the grant from Second Harvest Heartland. You don’t know what it meant to me.”

Thank you Will for your service to the kids of Swift County! There are thousands of kids in Minnesota like that little boy who were fed this summer because of SFSP. Learn more about SFSP and help feed kids all year long!


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