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Gritman supports annual summer weekend meal program for kids

No child should go to bed hungry, yet, according to the Idaho Foodbank, nearly 1 in 5 children in Latah County in 2019 were food insecure – meaning they didn’t have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Unfortunately, that statistic is likely worse now, with many families struggling due to the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak.

That is why Gritman Medical Center is proud to once again be among the sponsors of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s Weekend Food For Kids program. The Moscow School District provides meals to children Monday through Friday thanks to a grant from the USDA, and the Weekend Food For Kids programs ensures children have access to free weekend meals.

Throughout the summer months, starting June 12, children can visit Lena Whitmore Elementary School from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays to pick up bags full of nutritious food to take home for the weekend. Each bag contains enough food for meals and snacks for two days.

“We give them bags that basically give them enough food to get through the weekend,” said Lois Clifton, a volunteer at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

Last year, volunteers handed out an average of 128 bags a week from mid-June through late August. When the program was launched in 2014, approximately 25 bags were prepared and distributed weekly, and demand has increased in all but one year since.

The bags are available to any child facing food insecurities, and there is no limit on the number of children per family.

“We don’t have any requirements. If you need food, you just walk up and we give you a bag of food,” Strong said.

The meals are made possible through the generosity of numerous businesses, organizations and individuals. To make a donation, volunteer or for additional information on the Weekend Food For Kids program, contact St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at moc.l1593895144iamg@1593895144wocso1593895144mkram1593895144ts1593895144 or the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse at moc.w1593895144ocsom1593895144@hcru1593895144hcuu1593895144.