PEORIA, Ill.– Kids have been treated to free meals all summer, thanks to the Neighborhood House.
The kids were excited, and ready for a full meal. They were treated to some chicken tacos, rice, and milk for the drink.
This summer program is a great way to get kids inside, get a meal that fills them up, and gets them to have some fun.
“Kids are hungry. We saw the need after school and kind of expanded that into the summertime. We’re also sending home weekend snack packs,” said Neighborhood House Community Outreach Director Bryna Ryan.
Ryan says this program might have the only meal these kids eat each day, so it’s vital for them to come to the neighborhood house.
“A lot of times during the school year the kids are dependent on that breakfast and lunch. So if they’re dependent on that during the school year they’re definitely dependent on that in the summer time,” Ryan said.
Karen Johnson brings groups of kids from the area into the neighborhood house for these meals. She says she loves giving back to the kids because of the people who supported her when she was growing up.
“People from all over the city came in our neighborhood and taught us all kinds of things. From twirling batons, to ballet, all kinds of stuff they taught us. That’s what we kept us. And I’m just giving back cause of what was given to me,” Johnson said.
Johnson says this program helps kids become more well-rounded individuals, and will be something they remember for a long time.
“It gives them a meal. A lot of them don’t have a meal at home. It gives them a meal and things to do like they have art here, and kids learn how to paint. They really love it. They learn how to dance. All kinds of things the neighborhood house has for them,” Johnson said.
The summer meals program goes right up until school time, so there’s still time for kids to get to the Neighborhood House. They serve the meals at noon, and then they can play games and socialize afterwards