Lafayette’s Food Finders Food Bank is partnering with CityBus this summer to deliver fresh produce to ten sites throughout the city. The initiative supplements the food supplies low-income families need during a tough time of year: the summer break from school.
Volunteers maneuver watermelons, orange peppers, onions, and cabbage onto a wooden pallet inside a CityBus idling outside the Food Finders food warehouse. The nearly one thousand pounds of produce is headed to Vinton Elementary School, today’s stop in a new summer feeding program.
“We know how hard the summer months can be for people who are struggling with hunger, having to provide the extra meals with kids who are home over the summer, so this is just extra food we can get out to them,” says Food Finders Food Bank Chief Operating Officer Kier Crites Scherger.
Food Finders wants the produce drop to work in tandem with its other summer programming, which this year includes both their long-running Summer Food Service Program sites and an upcoming pilot summer feeding program. Parents and guardians can struggle to feed families during the summer months without school support. Elizabeth Harrison visited the produce drop with her husband and three of her four children. Her family currently receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, commonly known as food stamps. Her daughter attends Vinton Elementary, and eats free breakfast and lunch there during the school year.
“So it makes it kind of hard to feed another mouth in the summertime,” says Harrison.
The produce drop lasts for one hour, and then it’s time to pack up. Through August 3, busses packed with fruit and veggies will make their way to apartment complexes, community centers, churches, and other schools in the community.