Submitted by Keri Olson, UWWC
United Way of Whiteside County (UWWC) is proud to announce the launch of the Feed Our Children free summer lunch program, providing free meals to children across the county from May 31st to August 9th. The program will serve free meals at 18 sites throughout the county and is open to all children.
Feed Our Children aims to provide meals to children who may otherwise go hungry during the summer months when school is not in session. UWWC recognizes the importance of proper nutrition for the health and well-being of children in the community and is committed to ensuring that all children have access to the food they need to grow and thrive.
“We are thrilled to launch the 22nd year of Feed Our Children and provide this vital service to children in Whiteside County,” said UWWC CEO, Keri Olson. “We recognize that hunger doesn’t take a break during the summer months, which is why we’re committed to providing free meals to children.”
In 2022, Feed Our Children served over 21,000 meals, representing a remarkable 50% increase from the previous year. Unfortunately, the program is facing significant challenges this year as reduced SNAP benefits for many food-insecure families and rising grocery costs are expected to increase demand for meals. This surge in demand is happening at a time when United Way’s purchasing power is decreasing, which puts a considerable strain on the program’s funding. Despite these challenges, UWWC remains committed to the program’s success and is actively seeking support from donors and partners to help ensure Feed Our Children can meet the demand for summer meals.
“We are grateful for the support of our donors and partners who have made this program possible,” said Olson. “Their generosity is a testament to the caring spirit of our community and a commitment to address food insecurity in Whiteside County.”
Feed Our Children is open to all children, with no enrollment or qualification requirements. Meals will be served every Wednesday from 12:00pm to 12:30pm at 18 sites across the county, including parks, community centers, and schools from May 31st through August 9th. A list of sites and serving times can be found at www.uwwhiteside.org.
United Way is looking for additional donations and volunteers to support this program. Those interested can learn more at www.uwwhiteside.org or by contacting Keri Olson at 815.625.7973 or email@example.com.