Feeding Kids in La Crescent-Hokah

One small hand reaches in to get a sandwich, apple slices, yogurt and carrots

The Lunch Wagon is a summer lunch program that is geared to serve the children in the La Crescent and Hokah communities every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer! The original heart behind this program was to pick up where the free and reduced lunch programs during the school year leave off after school is out for the summer.

Now in its 4th summer, the lunch wagon is larger than ever! The Lunch Wagon is a ministry of the La Crescent UMC. As I wrote about last summer, The Lunch Wagon was featured at the Minnesota Annual Conference in 2016.

What did they eat today?

During the summer, it is much harder for families to make sure their kids are fed in a healthy manner. For one instance, what if we have to leave them at home all day while they work? What kind of food are their kids going to get for lunch? I know when I was a kid it was whatever was easy… pizza, mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets, french fries, more pizza, and even more pizza! We hope to meet this specific need in these communities to make sure that kids have the opportunity to be blessed with a healthy well-balanced lunch.

Lunch wagon is more than just food for kids. It is also a social event for kids and families at La Crescent Aquatic Center. It is a great way for moms and dads at home to bring their kids to the park and play! Some even work their day around the outing! Middle school children are practicing their independence at home during the day. The lunch wagon provides a sandwich, veggies, fruit, snack and milk. This means that 2 days each week working parents can be assured that they are getting something more than frozen pizza. In addition kids get out and connect with others – Let it be a meeting point!

How can I help?

While the La Crescent UMC is one sponsor, there are many individuals and businesses who make this happen. I would love to list them, but some don’t want to be known. As a very part-time volunteer, I just don’t know all of the businesses who contribute. I know there are many, many who do, and I’d hate to leave any one out. No matter the size, they are all important! Thank you!

One frequent question I get at the Aquatic Center is for ways that individual families can help support. There are a number of ways to help.

  1. Donations of paper bags, sandwich bags, snack bags, and stickers for to close the bag.  (We cannot take food donations from individuals.)
  2. Financial donations can be made out to the La Crescent UMC. (These are even a tax deduction.) Contact Us.
  3. Help pack lunches or hand out lunches on Tuesday or Thursday. Volunteer times vary. Check them out on SignUp Genius. Then come! It is a hoot! If it’s not fun, then let me know!
  4. Share The Lunch Wagon Facebook page.

Why the Lunch Wagon

We currently have peaked this summer with serving 200 or so lunches every Tuesday and Thursday, and serve in 5 different locations in the La Crescent-Hokah community. Those locations include: Hokah Community Park, La Crescent Aquatic Center, Hill’s Mobile Home Park, Kistler Mobile Home Park, and finally we serve the kids who are in Kid’s Company at the elementary school.

Lunch Wagon is an amazing way to serve and bless the children in this community in the way Jesus instructs us. In Matthew 25:35 where he states, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” Jesus is saying here that in us feeding those who are literally hungry in the community we are also feeding Him, and also giving Him the ultimate glory! That is our goal, to reach every child with just an inkling of Jesus’ love for them through serving them in this way!

 

**Co-Authored by Tyler in Childrens’ Ministry

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I'm writing and posting here as a volunteer of the church. My husband and children and I have been Methodists for over 100 years. We live, work, volunteer and raise our children in the La Crescent community. The people at La Crescent UMC do amazing things with their gifts and their talents. I'm very honored to be able to share them with the world. Thank you for reading along. Wonder what we'll get to read next!

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