By: Erica Miller
U District Food Bank is happy to continue our partnership this summer with Hunger Intervention Program, (HIP) to help end hunger in north Seattle. HIP provides many valuable services such as Senior Community Meals, Healthy HIP Packs during the school year, and five Summer Meal sites in the Lake City/North Seattle area. These meal sites provide a lunch and snacks for kids and teens Monday through Friday. HIP works with a vast network of volunteers to prepare meals for these sites and distribute them to the kids during the week.
Aside from helping out at the meal sites, I also help to coordinate the weekend packs that are sent home with each child on Friday. Summertime offers many challenges for families with children who rely on free-and-reduced lunch and many kids are unsure when their next meal will be when they leave school on Friday. For the third year in a row, HIP and UDFB are able to help ease these concerns by providing weekend packs filled with healthy snacks and easy-to-prepare meal options for kids to enjoy over the weekend.
We purchase the food through the Packs For Kids program and deliver it to the Lake City Presbyterian Church where it gets assembled into packs and distributed by HIP volunteers. With this team effort, we are able to distribute weekend packs to 130 kids every week! 2015 meal sites we are partnered with include: Cedarville Village, Jackson Park Community Building, Lake City Community Center, Lake City Court, and Nathan Hale High School. These meal sites also offer games and activities throughout the summer to keep kids busy and engaged.
By spending time in these communities, I’ve been able to see a lot of the same kids at distributions almost every day and getting to laugh and play with them is so much fun! They are so thankful for what we have to offer, and we are even more thankful that they offer us joy and laughter every day.
See the attached flyer for the meal site distribution schedule!