LA CROSSE,WI (WXOW)--The La Crosse School District reports that nearly half of its students qualify for free and reduced lunches while they're in school.
That's up 1.3 percent from last year. With the school year coming to an end, many parents worry where their child's next meal will come from--according to The Salvation Army Volunteer Coordinator.
That's why many are thankful for a volunteer program that kicked-off its first day on Wednesday. The name of the program pinpoints their focus perfectly and it's called "Feed the Kids."
This year is the eighth annual year "Feed the Kids" has been around our area. This year the number of lunches volunteers plan on handing out is double what the need was last year.
A UW-L student who is also the director of the program and said no child should have to go hungry.
"To think that someone else is struggling like that, I feel like there's a need to help that and no little kid should have to worry about what they're going to eat for lunch," said Michael Peterson, Director for the "Feed the Kids" Program this summer.
"A mom started crying and said she didn't know where lunch was going to come from after school was out,"said The Salvation Army's Volunteer Coordinator, Jeff Hoch. "It's a very real problem in our area."
Peterson and Hoch agree that even though volunteers made and delivered 400 lunches on Wednesday, it only made a small dent in helping hungry children in our area.
Volunteers hope to deliver lunches Monday through Friday all summer long.
But, the program is completely dependent upon donations and that's why The Salvation Army is asking the La Crosse Community for their help. The Salvation Army expects to deliver close to 24,000 lunches this summer to those kids in need.
For more information on what you can donate or how to sign up to be a volunteer, call The Salvation Army at 608-782-6126.
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