Summer Eats for Kids launches drive thru pick-up

Logo for United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County.

Starting on Tuesday, July 6, families in need of a little extra food support can participate in the Summer Eats for Kids drive thru pick up program.

The initiative provides a weekly food basket of healthy snacks, fruits and vegetables during the summer months when school nutrition programs are closed. The program is geared toward school-age children and their families where extra food support might be needed to reduce a family’s grocery bill and ensure kids have nutritious food choices, which might come at a higher cost.

“For kids who rely on school nutrition programs, summer can be the hungriest time of year,” says Liam Giles-Hayes, Director of United Way Programs. “We can help kids be ready to learn this September if we can help boost their nutrition in the summer months.”

Families with children are welcome to pick up a free box of food on Tuesdays from 11 am to 1 pm at St. James Catholic Elementary, Catholic Central High School and St. Louis Catholic Elementary (in Leamington), or Thursdays from 11 am to 1 pm at West Gate Public School, Dougall Ave. Public School, or Frank W. Begley Public School. Registration will take place on location. All staff and volunteers will be taking the appropriate safety measures for COVID-19. The program runs until August 26, 2021. Summer Eats for Kids is generously sponsored by the Ontario Student Nutrition Program.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the Summer Eats for Kids program, please contact 519-999-4473 or email nlesperance@weareunited.com. Anyone wishing to donate or fundraise for the program is encouraged to visit www.weareunited.com/SummerEats.

So far, $15,700 has been raise towards the $35,000 goal. Individuals and organizations can also become a Hero for a Day, sponsoring 100 local families for a $2,500 sponsorship - call 519-259-6189 to learn more.

United Way is also collecting new and gently used books to distribute along with the food baskets. Book donations can be dropped off from July 5 to July 30 (Monday 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, or Friday 12 pm to 3 pm) at the United Way office located at 300 Giles Blvd East in Windsor. The goal is to collect 5,000 books for students ages 1 to 17.