Children in Randolph Co. to have fun and eat healthy at the park on Friday

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MOBERLY – Every week, through the Summer Café a local organization provides a free lunch for young people regardless of their social and economic background.

On Friday, Randolph County Caring Community will provide more than just a meal for children from all over the county, at Tannehill Park.

The program director of the Summer Café, Patty Hendren, said the goal of "Summer Bash" is to provide free recreational opportunities for young people in the heart of the town.

"It's just to get kids out and active, and not so much on-screen time, but having fun time, just good old-fashion play time," she said.

High school student Anastasia Buckner said she takes part in Summer Bash every year. She said her favorite part is the bounce house.

"Usually it's really fun," she said.

There are other activities she enjoys.

"They usually have the library down there, they give you out books, they have little games where you can earn prices," Buckner said.

Hendren said the overall goal of the Summer Café and Summer Bash is to provide free fresh, and not over-processed food to children. 

"When school is not in session, we find that kids aren't receiving a meal," she said. "This way we are providing them with a nutritional meal that meets USDA requirements."

Hendren said, on Friday, the library will be there, there will be art activities and the organization will be giving away grilled hot dogs and fresh watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe, and strawberries, among other fruits and vegetables.  

Hendren said organizers try to show children the value of locally-grown produce.

"We like to educate the kids to let them know, this came from their state, or this fruit came from their community," she said.

Buckner is getting ready to go to Summer Bash with her brothers. She said it is "relieving” for students to have activities in the community to stay busy during the break.

"Usually kids get out of school for summer, and then they just sit home, don't really do anything,” she said.

Jordan Jones is also getting ready to go with this brother. He said he enjoyed going to Summer Bash before.

"You get to do also fun things with the cool things," he said.

Hendren said the response of the community to events like this have been gratifying.

"The community definitely reach out, they want to participate, they want to volunteer," she said. "I am just overwhelmed with what Randolph County, different ones in the community have just step up to the plate."

The event will happen from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's free and open to everybody. Randolph County Caring Community expects about 100 children.

The next Summer Bash will take place on a Friday in July, at Katy Park in Higbee. The specific date has not been set yet.