Susan Meeker went to great lengths to feed children in Castle Rock. With help from friends, she individually enrolled each kid, solicited help from Douglas County School District for the food, and planned enrichment activities for every day that lunch was offered.
Because 40% of students at South Street Elementary qualify for free or reduced-price (FRP) meals, they cannot operate as an open site. An open site requires 50% FRP and allows for any child to enjoy a meal by just dropping by with no required paperwork. Susan, however, had to operate her site as an enrolled site and collect income forms for each child. Knowing the need in her community, she didn’t blink an eye.
On June 30, I saw Centennial Park come alive with kids from surrounding neighborhoods. They ate a lunch consisting of a turkey sandwich, fresh veggies, fruit, and milk and then sat quietly while two volunteers from the city educated them on taking care of the earth. The kids loved the tool provided to pick up trash! One mother commented, “If only I had one of these at home for the kids to pick up their toys!”
Even in places such as Doulgas County, the 8th richest county according to Forbes America’s 25 Richest Counties, hunger and poverty exist. Thanks to Susan for recognizing this and putting her efforts towards reducing childhood hunger!