“When I was hungry, you fed me.
When I was thirsty, you gave me drink”
Fifty percent of the children in the City of Cumberland are eligible to receive free or reduced breakfasts and lunches at their school during the academic year. That is a staggering number. It also means that when the school year ends, their vital source of nutrition is cut off. Founded in 2001, the Summer Lunch Box provides lunches for the children who are on the City playgrounds in supervised recreational programs for the period in the summer that those programs run. This season alone, we anticipate providing lunches to approximately 800 children. Breakfasts are also delivered to the major program at Constitution Park for children dropped off early by the parents who have to get to work.
Our parishioners gather each day to prepare nutritionally balanced food and deliver them to the children at the playground sites. We also leave coolers with fruit drinks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for snacks later in the afternoon.
There are never any leftovers because the children take the extra lunches home to their families.
The Summer Lunch Box is supported by grants from Emmanuel’s Vestry, the Rotary Club of Cumberland, the Medical Auxiliary and generous benefactors. The ministry is fully shared by members of St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church.