ROCHELLE — Once again the Rochelle community is responding to people in need.
Due to delays in state funding, the Rochelle Summer Lunch Program nearly came to a halt Monday, but thanks to the small town generosity, donations have been steadily coming, but there is still a need.
Jodee Brazee, Summer Lunch Program Board Member, appealed to the community for assistance with pre-packaged food and miscellaneous items in order to provide lunch for area youngsters in need. The program provides lunches at four locations for any child age one through 18 Monday through Friday during the summer months.
“We cannot continue to serve lunches until we have a way to pay for the food we have already served,” Brazee said early Monday. “We will not be able to resume service until the state restores our funding or we raise enough money to pay for the meals while we wait for the state.”
Since the program does not have a health service license, any of the food donated must be pre-packaged and ready to be served. Brazee said the program works with a vendor in the Sycamore area, which provides the pre-packaged lunches.
By 10 a.m. Monday, enough donations had come in to stock the coolers with food and water to send out to Shangri La Park, Cooper Park, Connolly Park, and Powers Park.
Although food and monetary donations have been steadily arriving, Brazee said they are still accepting donations. Of those needed most are: Applesauce or fruit cups, bread, soy butter, water bottles, cheese sticks, string cheese, plates, cups, paper towels, straws, plastic silverware, and wipes.
By late Monday afternoon, Brazee said the state had been in contact with the program and had hopes the regular schedule would continue next week. But for now, the organization is still accepting food and monetary donations from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. at the Rochelle United Methodist Church. Please make checks payable to the Rochelle Summer Lunch Program.
“Our No. 1 goal is to feed the area children,” Brazee added.