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Kalona Food for All Provides Free Lunches with Summer Program

Posted: Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 6:25 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

Food can be easy to bond over, no matter your background or circumstances.

The Kalona Food For All organization takes this message to heart with their summer lunch and Sunday dinner program at the Kalona Methodist Church. Starting June 5, Kalona Food For All will serve free lunches on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays all summer for the fourth year running.

Organizer Amy Spencer talks about the program’s purpose, “The vision for Food for All is to create community so everybody eats, so ideally we have people from all socioeconomic levels come and eat. We try to tackle food insecurity, which basically includes hunger, by having programs that are fun to come to, where people feel welcome, where we enjoy each other’s company, we get nourished by the food, but we also get nourished by each other’s company.” Spencer links food insecurity to social isolation, and she says she tries to garner a community atmosphere and not have the lunches simply feel like a hand out.

The lunches are free for all ages, and they welcome free-will donations. Spencer says she’s looking forward to what’s to come this summer, “We also have lots of activities. I’m really excited this year because we’re able to focus more on literacy this year. The youth librarian is going to be with us on Fridays. We also have someone who’s going to be organizing activities really intentionally on Monday. And Friday we have little free library, we have people who read to kids. If people want to volunteer to read to kids they can do that, so we have a lot of really good stuff going on.”

Spencer regards Kalona as a very generous community in terms of providing for the lunches. Support has come from grants, and donations of food and money. Spencer says she promotes the lunches sending flyers with students’ report cards, and with a lot of word-of-mouth. The summer lunches begin on June 5 with an ice cream social fundraiser from noon to 2 p.m.