CLEARFIELD – The Salvation Army’s free “Lunch & Literacy” program is set to start June 12, and a book drive is being planned in preparation of the program.
Last year, the Salvation Army piloted a mobile feeding and reading program at the Edgewood Housing Development Complex.
“It was extremely successful, serving 35-50 kids a day a bagged lunch, reading to them and giving away books to encourage more summer reading on their own,” says Captain Helen Johnson.
This year the Salvation Army is set to expand that program to two locations. Its staff will serve and read at Edgewood at 12 p.m. and then at East End park at 12:30 p.m.
The program will run from June 12 – Aug. 18 with the week of Aug. 21-25 being the Salvation Army’s Vacation Bible School.
Lunches are being provided through the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank this year. They will be balanced, nutritious lunches that vary each day.
“The lunches are served from our new fully-equipped canteen, which is usually used for serving first responders at fires or other disasters,” says Captain Kevin Johnson, director of the Salvation Army in Clearfield.
As kids sit and eat their lunches, they are read to and will take part in various literacy lessons. There will be books distributed and prizes for those that read each week.
Helen Johnson says that, “This year we are pleased to have our new after-school director who is a life-long educator to plan and run the lessons.”
“To help us prepare for this exciting program, we are running a book drive for the last month of the school year.”
New or gently-used children’s and young adult books can be donated at the following locations: CNB Bank, JG Food Warehouse, Clearfield Pharmacy and Save-A-Lot.
Books can always be dropped off when the Salvation Army’s center is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Salvation Army thanks the community for helping its staff help others. To donate financially or volunteer with this or other programs like it, please call 814-765-4981.