Inter-Lakes 'Got Lunch' program gets job done
MEREDITH — Each Monday morning this summer, volunteers have gathered in the Inter- Lakes Elementary School gymnasium to put together food bags filled with sandwiches and fresh fruits, each bag destined for a youngster-in-need's kitchen table.
The volunteers, members of the Got Lunch Inter-Lakes program, met Monday morning for the last run of the program's first summer.
"It's important work all summer," said volunteer driver Susan Mielbrecht, who with her partner, husband Ron Mielbrecht, drove food to homes in the district's three towns — Meredith, Center Harbor, and Sandwich — each Monday.
"It puts food on the table that might night otherwise be there," she said.
That's the goal of Got Lunch Inter-Lakes, which was modeled after a similar program in Laconia. The mission is to reach youth who get healthy lunches through school and government programs during the school year, but who might not eat as well at home during the almost-three months of summer vacation.
Food comes from donations from local churches and businesses, and from individuals, said Carla Horne, one of the group's organizers and a Meredith selectman.
"It's basically available to anyone who signs up," Horne said.
"We thought it was an important way to make sure the kids eat well during the summer months."
This year the program ran for nine weeks, giving out the equivalent of 6,150 lunches to 138 children at their homes. The food costs roughly $120 per child, Horne said.
"Next year, I expect us to reach twice as many students," she said.