Inside Look: Summer Meals in Action

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Ever wonder what the Food Bank’s Summer Meals program looks like in action? Take an inside look at mealtime for Community Services Foundation, a CAFB partner that hosts a summer camp and provides free breakfast and lunch for kids throughout the summer, through the eyes of CSF’s chief operating officer Dawn Folkes.

During a typical day at the community center, children come in and they are greeted by the staff.  A meal is the first thing on the agenda.

“We don’t know what children face before they come to the center or when they leave the center,” Dawn says, “but we do know that while they are here they are able to get a nutritious meal.”

From there, the kids jump right into homework assistance—STEM, reading and math tutoring. They have recreational activities—yoga on some days, sports activities on another. They also have health and wellness activities, as well as public speaking, journaling and a host of other enrichment opportunities.

The kids eat, learn and play. Their laughter and smiles, along with the knowledge that Community Services Foundation’s partnership with the Food Bank is helping them to lead full and healthy lives, is what makes the job worth it for Dawn.

“What I enjoy most about working here at Community Services Foundation, and partnering with the Capital Area Food Bank, is to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, every day,” Dawn says. “It’s such a joy to know that we are helping them, giving them so much enrichment to their lives. And letting them know that, just because you live in a certain area, just because you go to a certain school, does not mean that you are not able to be able to be afforded the same opportunities as every other child here in the world.”

If you’d like to support the learning (and eating!) that happens at summer meals locations like this one, it’s easy to do by visiting https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/donate-summer-meals/