The Batesville United Methodist Church is once again coordinating efforts for a summer program that will provide food to needy kids, reports the Rev. Larry Dimick. He recalls that during a Lenten season Bible study a few years ago, “we were thinking about situations in our community that we could have an impact on .... There was a member of our congregation who was a teacher, and she expressed a concern about students who receive free and reduced-price lunches during the school year, who are not getting much to eat during the summer. We started talking about this” and began the program last year with Batesville Primary School. “We fed about 80 kids (in 26 families, some younger and some older than those attending BPS) over the course of the summer. This year, we want to expand it to the intermediate school.”
After the children return from spring break, “we’ll send an inquiry out through the schools to all the families involved with the free and reduced-price lunch program, so we know how many are interested. We’ll get in touch with those who respond.”
The church’s outreach committee members, who are helping plan the program, include Ted and Ginny Hartshorn, Nance Widdowson, Susie Rowland, Linda Schumacher, Debbie Obermeyer, Leo and Emily Turchyn, Gary Dudgeon, Barb Nettnay and Connie Miller. Last June and July, families picked up food at the church on Wednesdays, and the hope is to keep that same schedule in 2013.
Dimick is hoping to “get some additional leadership from folks not part of our congregation .... The idea is that it’s not our organization, it’s the community’s,” so volunteers are welcome.
Food and financial donations are needed. Tax-deductible checks, payable to Batesville United Methodist Church and earmarked summer food program can be mailed to the church office, 106 S. Park Ave., Batesville, IN 47006. To coordinate a time to drop off food items, persons can contact the church at 934-3137.
“Another neat addition would be if farmers would like to donated fresh produce,” he says.
“We really appreciated all the help that came in last year from the local churches, businesses, community foundation and individuals. That’s the kind of support that says a lot about the community of Batesville.”