Editors Note: This is a 3 part series focusing on local community programs that serve those who may be hungry in our community. If you know of other programs in the South Georgia area, we’d love to tell their story too. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about them.
What started out as a small outreach program has grown to a thriving ministry to children in the Hahira community.
The purpose of this ministry is to help parents stretch the food budget while the kids are home for the summer. Parents depend on school lunches and breakfasts to help feed their children during the school year, but during summer, some families struggle to keep their kids fed.
Seven summers ago, several individuals, believing GOD was making a way for it to happen, funded, prepared and distributed 600 bag lunches to school age children.
SCF discovered very quickly that we live in a very caring, generous community. That next summer, area churches, businesses, clubs and individuals helped make Summer Children’s Feed a community effort. Since then, Summer Children’s Feed has fed up to 3600 in one summer’s time.
Everyone just works together to do what is necessary to feed local children. It’s a lot of work; funding, communicating, planning, ordering, preparing, delivering, etc. Buying supplies starts in January/February, so storage is an issue.
In the past, Summer Children’s Feed operated out of the Church of God fellowship hall, but quickly outgrew that facility. Now, SCF operates from a portable building in the Hahira United Methodist Church parking lot.
This past summer, SCF was fortunate enough to have a record number of volunteers helping sort, package and deliver lunches. However, there is always room for more volunteers, and the program leaders; Joyce Tomlinson and Rev. and Mrs. Harnage encourage you to come and serve your community by volunteering to help with this incredible program.
Surprisingly food isn’t the greatest need for this group. Summer Children’s Feed is blessed to have many generous benefactors, and they pull food from the Second Harvest Food Bank if and when needed. No, the most pressing need is finding out where the kids are so they can reach them.
Summer Children’s Feed works with local apartment complexes, mobile home parks and local neighborhoods to search out for these children, but the best source for that information is you, the person reading this story.
Volunteers from Summer Children’s Feed primarily distribute their lunches through delivery, which is done by volunteers, only a very small percentage pick up the lunches. Last year, the Hahira Lion’s Club volunteered to help sort, pack and deliver lunches, but more drivers are always needed.
If you aren’t able to donate your time, there are still ways you can help Summer Children’s Feed.
Mrs. Joyce Tomlinson says, “Pray for the ministry, the volunteers, and the recipients. We can always use volunteers, but we know that not everyone can volunteer. Your gifts are also very much appreciated.”
This year’s schedule for Summer Children’s Feed is as follows:
Beginning May 22, 2019, serve and delivery is from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Wednesday and Friday. The program will finish up on August 2, 2019.
If you’d like to volunteer, please be at the Portable building in the Stanfill Street parking lot by 8:00 am.
For more information, call Joyce Tomlinson at 229.561.5102