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June 6, 2014

Summer meals await 43 Selinsgrove youth

SELINSGROVE — Forty-three children in 19 families will receive food this summer as part of Meals for Seals, which will begin its first distribution Saturday.

Selinsgrove is the fourth Valley school district to offer weekend meals to underprivileged children. Similar programs operate in the Shikellamy, Midd-West and Danville districts.

“This is way to improve the quality of life for all children,” said Snyder County Commissioner Peggy Chamberlain Roup, a board member of Snyder County Coalition for Kids, which is supporting Meals for Seals.

The Pennsylvania Food Bank and Snyder County churches will also participate.

“I’m proud to be part of the joint community effort to launch this program,” Roup said. “It’s sad to think that any child should go hungry.”

The program is not open to everyone, Meals for Seals co-coordinator Lori Weir said.

““The school selected some of the kids that are receiving free or reduced lunch,” said Weir, who will coordinate the program with Melissa Urey.

Food will be distributed from 10 a.m. to noon at Selinsgrove Elementary School

“You cannot believe the excitement we are experiencing from all the publicity and attention to this need without even having to ask for the help,” Weir said. “It’s very exciting that the word is getting out and that everything is just falling into place. We are amazed that everything happens before we even have the chance to ask.”

Meals for Seals is also in the process of assuring plenty of food for the summer giveaways, Weir said.

“We have received a free plot at the community garden at Susquehanna University and we mapped out a plan for what will be planted and where and as soon as it’s time, we will be planting fresh vegetables to give away at the weekly distribution,” Weir said.

Even health experts are donating their time, Weir said.

“We found two dieticians who will provide us with weekly handouts of ideas on how to best prepare the vegetables considering how different methods might change their nutritious and healthy values,” she said. “We have also found a local connection through Feed America so we can receive additional food to give away to help sustain families through the summer months while the children are not getting free or reduced lunch at school.

“We have been told that these will be healthy food items like milk, meat, produce and breads.”

Meals for Seals will also be participating at the Pennsylvania Food Bank to get food items at a major discount, Weir said.

Even churches are excited to help.

“Several around the area will be providing food kits each week,” Weir said. “We have had volunteers step up who are willing to help assemble the food kits, others who want to help gather items from participating churches, make phone calls, garden, shop, anything that is needed.”

For more information, call Weir at (570) 374-6966 or Urey at (570) 809-3901. Donations can be made payable to Snyder County Coalition for Kids. Write “Meals for Seals” on the memo line. Mail donation to Kelly Feiler, SCCFK interim mobilizer, 104 Rhoads Ave., Selinsgrove, PA 17870.

 

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