Volunteers sought for summer lunch program
Relying on the help of local volunteers to ensure Sonoma County's 29,000 low-income students who utilize free and reduced price school meals don't go hungry over the summer, the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is seeking volunteers for its eighth annual summer meals program.
Volunteers are needed in Sonoma Valley to serve as activity directors.
People who are interested in becoming volunteers need to commit to a three-hour mid-day block at least once a week for eight weeks.
"We're disturbed but not surprised by the increase in need for hunger relief during the summer," said David Goodman, executive director of the food bank.
"Low-income residents are reaching out for as much help as they can find to feed their families and children. With the recession hitting low-income families especially hard, each trip to the gas station is one less bag of groceries for many local families. We are appealing to the community to make sure we can deliver lunches to these children this summer."
The meals program includes recreational opportunities. Last year the program was expanded to include a new program of garden based nutrition education. Individuals and organizations with skills to share with children are encouraged to volunteer.
Running from June 6 to Aug. 9, the food bank's, "ConAgra Foods Foundation Hunger-Free Summer Program," is a collaborative effort bringing together the nutrition departments of Santa Rosa and Healdsburg school districts, Boys & Girls Clubs, neighborhood youth programs, faith based groups, other organizations and hundreds of volunteers.
For more information, contact Itzul Gutierrez at 523-7900, ext. 32.