Nacogdoches church stepping in to fill gap with summer meals for - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Nacogdoches church stepping in to fill gap with summer meals for kids

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Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Pastor A.L. Shaw greets children arrving for the summer lunch program. (Source: KTRE Staff) Pastor A.L. Shaw greets children arrving for the summer lunch program. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Summer lunch programs are winding down, but thanks to one Nacogdoches church, the free meals will continue not only another month, but into the school year.

Davis Memorial Church is making a big difference in children's lives.

As volunteers tried to maintain order, Pastor A.L. Shaw overlooked minor infractions of the rules. The Davis Memorial Church pastor is just glad to see so many children arriving for breakfast, an enrichment program, and lunch.

“We serve over a 100 kids a day,” Shaw said. “This is an investment in our community."

The breakfast and lunch program is continuing until August 23, long after school districts shut down their summer lunch program. The church goes to the kids.

“We've got right now four different sites that we've identified where there is a cluster of children,” Shaw said. “We typically go there so we can make a bigger impact."

The mission doesn't stop there. Evening supper is also provided.

“So at 4:30, they get a good, home-cooked meal from some of the best cooks in Nacogdoches,” Shaw said.

“You better know it,” said Doretha Freeman, the chief cook and volunteer.

Freeman, her sister, her niece, and with other helpers make the difference. Big city feeding programs have failed for a lack of volunteers.

“For each week, I have a menu displayed for five days,” Freeman said.

Evening meals are offered at Davis memorial and Spring Hill Learning Center at the Arbor Pines apartment complex.

“Those meals are free from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. even when school is in because we're still finding children need food to eat,” Shaw said.

The USDA provides the funding to combat the food insecurity for children. Davis Memorial provides the love behind every home-cooked meal.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, the average daily participation in federal summer meal programs in Texas rose by more than 8 percent between 2012 and 2013.

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