May 27, 2014 – Marietta, GA… MUST Ministries, a regional faith-based charity serving eight counties, is launching its well-respected Summer Lunch Program in Bartow County, in an outreach to serving hungry children. These children are on the school system’s free and reduced lunch program and often have little to no food when the school is not in session. Must is committed to providing sack lunches every weekday by partnering with churches, businesses, civic groups, neighborhoods, businesses and a host of volunteers.
Beginning with only 25 lunches a day 19 years ago, MUST now serves 6,000 lunches daily. Last year MUST grew the program to more than 247,000 meals in eight counties. Bartow County has been involved with the Summer Lunch Program for two years. In 2013 Bartow County provided 8,299 sack lunches. According to Seasonal Program Manager Paula Rigsby, “MUST is excited about helping the Bartow County community do this important work another year and pledges to continuously bring our compassion to serve along with our proven system of reaching children in need.”
Host churches are the hubs of distribution while other churches and organizations, even individual families, will make balanced lunches according to health and safety guidelines. MUST works with school counselors and others in the community to find pockets of need identified by the school system. Bags are decorated and packed, then check and boxed. Next, a volunteer driver takes the meals to designated areas.
“Summer Lunch is one of the most fulfilling outreach opportunities I can imagine,” Rigsby said. “The children love meeting each day to receive their meals.” In addition, each child receives a free book on Fridays to encourage summer reading, a meaningful gift for children to collect.
For more information on donating lunches, bags, lunch items (bread, turkey, ham, bologna, peanut butter, jelly, cheese slices, individual bags of snacks like pretzels and granola bars), books or time, email firstname.lastname@example.org (for North Cobb and South Bartow). Ways you can participate in Summer Lunch are listed on the ministry’s website. To contribute financial support, just go online at www.mustministries.org.