I want to share a success story with you that says a lot about Kirkland.
This summer there will be at least 100 additional sack lunches ready to augment the federally-sponsored, Kirkland Summer Feeding Program that begins on Tuesday at 132nd Square Park. Because federal rules penalize over-ordering, the incentive is to under estimate the number of lunches. Since this is the first year Kirkland is running the program, there is no experience to form a good estimate of how many kids will show up for the sack lunches.
Yesterday, (yes, 24 hours ago) an appeal went out to as many emails as I could find that I guessed were not involved in on-going food programs. I provided opportunities for folks to provide 5 extra lunches in case the estimates were short. Kirkland responded!
Next Tuesday, there will be 20 extra sack lunches for the kids. In fact, Kirkland volunteers filled every slot within 24 hours to ensure there will be up to 20 additional lunches, if needed, EVERY week throughout this summer's program.
Still, there are a couple of organizations that mustered support beyond the available slots. The Band of Brother NW (and I have found they have a couple of sisters in there, too) and the Lake Washington Optimists have generated power to spare, beyond this program. They are eager to assist even more and are coordinating with other programs in the area to see where they may, yet, be of help.
As one volunteer said, "It is much better to have extra that some child may take home than to look a hungry kid in the face when you have just given out the last sack lunch."
This rapid response to need is a great testament to Kirkland's character and generosity. I salute all those that were able to get into the sign-up web site before the last slot was taken.
For those that still want to help, HopeLink has a very well-run, and more comprehensive, End Summer Hunger program that serves a much broader audience than the Summer Feeding Program that is just starting on Tuesday.
You may join in helping that program by visiting: http://www.hope-link.org/take_action/end_summer_hunger/
I just can't express sufficient thanks to everyone whose heart was touched by the need. The community need is certainly great, right now. You will have additional opportunities to become part of Kirkland's Nourishing Network as a new program is rolled out this autumn. In the meantime, if you want to be added to Kirkland's Nourishing Network email list, just send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your email for the time being.