Summer lunch program wraps up as back to school approaches

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – When school is out for the summer, hunger doesn’t just disappear. Thousands of kids participate in Fort Wayne Community School’s summer lunch program. With back to school right around the corner, summer meal programs are wrapping up. And just like every year, more and more people were enrolled.

Delania Ayers has worked in the FWCS summer lunch program with the parks department since 2004. “That’s just my passion to work with kids so it’s pretty much a no brainer to do it every summer.”

Her husband is also involved. Other than their obvious passion for kids, the summer gig isn’t too bad. “We don’t have to worry about wardrobe, we can come here and be big kids all day long, you can’t beat it.”

Each year, Ayers meets more and more kids and their families. Last year, she worked with up to 3,000 per day. “We have a lot of hard working parents around here and I like for my parents bringing the kids to the park and the kids feel safe.”

The lunch program used to be just lunch but it’s also grown. “Over the years breakfast has been added, snacks have been added so there’s lots of opportunities for kids to get healthy meals in the summer,” Krista Stockman with FWCS said.

As of last Friday, numbers showed the count was up in breakfast and snacks and down a bit in lunch. “Numbers should be pretty good, tens of thousands of meals that are being served over the summer, meals that kids maybe wouldn’t have access to if we didn’t provide this.”

60 to 70 percent of FWCS students qualify for free or reduced priced lunches. When summer comes, they lose a meal, if not more. Those behind the program take pride in trying to help.

“If you’re in it for money you’re in the wrong place you truly have to have a passion for working with kids and making sure they have an enjoyable summer and safe summer foremost,” Ayers said.

Registration starts Friday. Click here for more info.