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