MUST Ministries has been coordinating Summer Lunches for children living in poverty for 18 years and this year saw a 31 percent increase in the lunches as the final tally soared to a record-breaking 247,087! Almost a quarter of a million sack lunches reached hungry children this summer thanks to an overwhelming effort by communities in eight counties.
“This is an amazing accomplishment for the Summer Lunch 2013 team,” according to Kelley Henderson, Vice President and Chief Programs Officer. “Not only did they meet the hunger needs of more than 6,000 children across eight counties, they worked together to our little neighbors in need. This monumental effort showcases MUST Ministries’ continued commitment to working with local community partners in service across North GA.
“A special thank you to our partners, volunteers, benefactors, sandwich makers, bag decorators, checkers and packers, drivers, PB&J mixers, cold cut stackers, and of course our outstanding team of staff,” Henderson said. With numerous groups and organizations involved in making this happen, the list is too long to innumerate, he said, “but we are grateful to churches, civic clubs, sports teams, scout troops, families, businesses and individuals who all pitched in to make this happen.
For Cherokee County, the number of summer lunches rose to 67,5489 from 51,338 for Cobb County, the number rose to 90,537 from 85,140 ; Douglas County 24,947 from 15,976; Gwinnett 23,365 from 16,367; North Fulton 26,747 from 20,833; and we added Bartow and Pickens Counties with 8,299 and 5,643 respectively.
Henderson estimated a 58 percent increase over the last four years as MUST Ministries has gone from serving Cobb and Cherokee Counties to reaching Bartow, Douglas, Gwinnett, North Fulton, Paulding and Pickens as well. “It’s remarkable what a community can do when they all work together on one cause. We are pleased to help lead this crusade to serve children in need in our area.”