St. Luke’s lunch pro­gram serves 765 meals over sum­mer

The Morning Call - - BUSINESS CYCLE -

St. Luke’s Univer­sity Health Net­work’s new Sum­mer Meals Pro­gram in Al­len­town achieved its goal of mak­ing sure lo­cal chil­dren had ac­cess to nu­tri­tious lunches dur­ing the sum­mer months.

Through­out the sum­mer, the pro­gram pro­vided a to­tal of 765 free meals to youths ages 18 and younger who were in need. The growth in pop­u­lar­ity of the Sum­mer Meals Pro­gram is ev­i­dent in the in­crease in par­tic­i­pa­tion by month. In June, the pro­gram dis­trib­uted 85 meals; that num­ber grew to 277 in July and to 403 in Au­gust.

In ad­di­tion to the meals, 156 com­mu­nity-sup­ported agri­cul­ture shares were given out to fam­i­lies who have lit­tle ac­cess to fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles, and 194 back­packs full of non­per­ish­able food items were dis­trib­uted to help feed fam­i­lies over the week­ends.

St. Luke’s also pro­vided the chil­dren and their fam­i­lies a range of free of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing healthy cook­ing demon­stra­tions, den­tal hy­giene ser­vices and art ac­tiv­i­ties. In ad­di­tion, the nurse and pa­tient co­or­di­na­tor from the Mo­bile Health Clin­ics were able to con­nect fam­i­lies in med­i­cal need to Star Well­ness.

The Sum­mer Meals Pro­gram re­ceived a boost from do­na­tions from sev­eral busi­ness part­ners. West Side Ham­mer Elec­tric made a generous gift of $10,000 to sup­port pro­gram en­hance­ments and sup­ply the back­packs of food that chil­dren took home each Fri­day to eat over the week­end. Mean­while, Wells Fargo con­trib­uted an ad­di­tional $2,000 to the Sum­mer Meals Pro­gram. Ad­di­tion­ally, Cray­ola do­nated sup­plies to fill back-to-school back­packs, and The Baum School of Art in Al­len­town spon­sored an art project on the fi­nal day of the pro­gram.

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