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Nonprofit, churches to feed children during spring break

When Clark County’s schoolchildren are on spring break next week, they won’t miss a meal, thanks to the generosity of local residents.

The school district has been providing school lunches and breakfasts at six sites across the community and running a mobile service for those who can’t get to those pick-up places. But next week, The Greater Clark Foundation and the Winchester-Clark County Association of Churches are going to take on that task.

Thompson’s Catering of Winchester is preparing the meals, and Joseph Miller of the Rowland Arts Center (RAC) is coordinating the volunteer workforce.

Jen Algire, president and chief executive officer of The Greater Clark Foundation, said the group learned last week that the schools wouldn’t be providing lunch during spring break, and members were confident the foundation could handle that without a lot of red tape.

“We feel this is a time when the whole community is stepping up and coming together, and we’re happy to be part of that,” she said.

In the spirit of trying to support local businesses, she said, they approached Thompson Catering, which has been hit hard by the closure of businesses it usually serves. Thompson, they knew, could handle providing 6,500 box or sack lunches in a week.

“The community has been incredibly responsive and generous, and we’ve got volunteers lined up to distribute at all six sites,” as well as two churches, Calvary Christian and Landmark Baptist, that offered to do the mobile delivery.

“Our goal is that this next week of spring break is seamless for all the families that have been getting meals from the school district these past two weeks,” she said. “We want the families to experience no disruption” in the school lunches.

Tony Stang, president of the Winchester-Clark County Association of Churches, said that about 15 to 20 congregations got involved in response to Mayor Ed Burtner’s suggestion that others could provide food in addition to the lunches GCF is paying for and distributing.

They’ve collected toaster pastries, instant oatmeal packets, fruit cups, breakfast bars and Breakfast Lunchables for the children to receive along with the lunches and to have for breakfast the next day.

The way he sees it, Stang said, is it’s about being more committed to the gospel than to what goes on inside the churches’ own walls.

“It makes me proud to live in Winchester,” the recent Texas transplant said.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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