Lunch in the Park Expects Large Turnout
COLUMBIA - Columbia's Lunch in the Park program has aimed to provide kids with a safe environment to enjoy nutritious meals throughout the summer. This year the program coordinators expect one of the largest turnouts yet.
Ron Schmidt, Project Director for the Voluntary Action Center, said this year the program is at full capacity for volunteers and he has had to turn people away. "A good problem to have," Schmidt said.
Mary Martin, Public Health Manager for the City of Columbia said every year is different for the Lunch in the Park program but as the program progresses, they are getting better at attracting more kids. The program is open to every child in the community. Martin said that no paper work or parental guidance is needed; they just want to feed kids. In addition to a free nutritious meal, Martin also said the progam provides some entertainment like visits by the Bookmobile and local Girl Scout troops.
Martin said this year they are estimating at least 100 kids per day between the ages of two and 18 will participate in the program and she excepts the number to increase throughout the summer.
The Lunch in the Park begins on Monday, June 11 and runs until August 10. The lunches will be hosted at Douglass Park on North Providence Road every week Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.