Our local schools work hard to make a child’s learning experience as fruitful as possible. Along with their significant efforts in the classroom, they also offer free meals each day to students who qualify. A significant percentage of kids in our local schools are eligible. In many schools, the number is 100%.

Numerous studies have shown that hunger plays out in the classroom. Hungry children struggle to concentrate in class, visit the school nurse with daily headaches and stomachaches, and may act out because they are hungry. In addition to the obvious long-term impacts of poor nutrition on a students’ health, studies have found that when even healthy, well-nourished school-aged children do not eat breakfast, the speed and accuracy of their response on problem-solving tasks is impaired.

So, these free meals offered during the school year are important for the 1 in 5 children nationally who suffer from hunger. But what about the summer when these meals are not offered?

This summer, the Interfaith Council of La Mesa will be providing lunch to children under the age of 18, no questions asked. The meals will be served at the Vista La Mesa Christian Church (Massachusetts and University) on each of the 37 days of summer recess. The food will be provided by the La Mesa/Spring Valley School District.

We need volunteers to help out. Soon, our on-line registration will be up and running and you can sign up for one day, multiple days or the same day each week. However, for now we are looking for people who would be willing to serve as lunch Captains (don’t panic, it’s easy!). If you can serve in that role for a day, a week, or more, or if you would like to find out what’s involved, please join us at La Mesa Christian at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2 for a one-hour training session.

If you plan on attending, please let David Merk know.