‘Lunch Bunch’ to begin 2nd year of serving kids

There is such a thing as a free lunch after all.

For the second year, Main Street Ministries will be offering a free noon meal to children and youth of Hillsboro and the surrounding area every Wednesday from June 4 through at least the first week of August.

?Any kid is welcome, and any age,? said Debbie Oelke, an MSM board member who is helping to spearhead the project. ?We had toddlers up to high school youth come last year, and it was just fantastic. We welcome that.?

The ?Lunch Bunch? meals will be offered from noon to 1 p.m. on the MSM campus at the corner of Main and D streets.

In addition to good food, each week will include activities?including live music and last year?s favorite, water balloons.

As was the case last summer, local churches will take turns providing the meal.

?We have had a fantastic response from churches,? Oelke said. ?Every single group that did it last year is going to do another meal this year?and we?ve tried to add one or two churches.

?It?s really exciting that basically every single church in Hillsboro has taken a Wednes?day to provide a meal.?

The menu varies from among traditional summer-time favorites, including hamburgers, hot dogs and sloppy joes, plus side dishes, dessert and a drink.

Area business participated last year as well. Subway provided cookies, Pizza Hut offered pizza on three occasions and Olde Towne Restaurant furnished lemonade throughout the summer. The Kiwanis Club contributed funds to the effort.

?Lunch Bunch? was the brainchild of the MSM board.

?The purpose is just to love kids and create relationships with them, get to know them, and to provide a safe place for them to come out,? Oelke said

This year, the board is investing additional effort to get the word out about Lunch Bunch in the schools, and has sent postcards to particular groups, such as child-care providers.

Last year, the lunches drew a range of nine to 33 kids. Oelke said the board hopes to see participation grow in its second year.

?We?d love to have 50 or more,? she said.

Oelke encourages adults from the community who have a heart for kids to be part of the event.

?If they?d like to support and build relationships with the kids of our community, we?d love to have them join us,? she said.

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