Lincolnton, NC – Learning does not end when school lets out for the summer. Neither does the need for good nutrition. Each year, millions of children throughout our nation depend on a free or reduced breakfast or lunch for nine months. For many children, summer vacation exposes them to an increased risk of hunger and developmental decline. That’s why, for the fourth consecutive summer, Boger City United Methodist Church, located at 2320 East Main Street in Lincolnton, has agreed to participate as one of 17 Lincoln County School’s Child Nutrition Department’s summer meal sites.

Beginning Monday, June 18 through Friday, August 10, Boger City UMC Summer Lunch Meal site will be serving a bag lunch for children 18 years old and younger from 12pm to 12:30pm in their Fellowship Hall. The Summer Lunch Program, with support from the USDA, provides  children 18 years old and younger in Lincoln County children, and surrounding counties an opportunity to receive at no cost a bag lunch consisting of a sandwich, vegetable, fruit, and milk prepared by the Lincoln County Public Schools Child Nutrition Department and served by church members. Adults accompanying their children will receive a healthy snack and water. An educational/entertaining programs and/or child rated movies will be showed weekdays  from 11am to 11:45am in their Fellowship Hall.

Several things differentiates BCUMC Summer Lunch meal site from the other 17 meal locations. Over the past 3 years, the number of children served at their meal site has experienced a substantial increase. Last year, their church’s meal site experienced a 56% daily participation increase due to church members contacting community organizations,    enhanced public relations campaign, and implementing an assortment of educational/entertaining programs and child-rated movies.

As a result of going above and beyond what was required of a Summer Lunch Meal site,  their church was the recipient of a 2017 NC Superior Site Award from NC Department of Public Instruction’s Child Nutrition Department. BCUMC Summer Lunch Meal site program volunteers were  recognized by Amanda Davis, Business Manager for Lincoln County School’s Child Nutrition Department in front the entire congregation and Lincoln County School Board meeting in February and March, respectively. At these presentations, Mrs. Davis emphasized not only did BCUMC Summer Lunch Meal site provide nourishment to over 500 children  but provided 300  healthy snacks to adults accompanying the children at no charge. In addition to daily distribution of children lunches, opportunities for educational/entertaining programs, and child-rated movies,  each child was given a book to take home weekdays, and an assortment of items including baseball caps, Frisbees, socks, T-shirts, wrist band, personal hygiene products, and other surprises.

Last years programs included an appearance by Conrad the CrawDad, the Hickory CrawDads Baseball Team Mascot, a magician asking children to assist with his magic, arts/crafts, visit and demonstration by a local police and his K-9 Unit partner, receiving tomato plants with instructions on growing/harvesting them, healthy eating tips from a registered nurse, Schiele Museum Outreach Department sharing an interactive program with live, preserved and skeletons of animals and reptiles, visit from Smokey The Bear on fire prevention, a  military veteran’s presentation on patriotism with children  receiving miniature US flags, dental hygienist and Mike Molar , her puppet presented dental health program, and representatives from various city, county and state agencies.

A partial list of the 2018 BCUMC Summer Lunch meal site’s free educational and entertaining programs scheduled weekdays from 11am to 11:45am are listed below.

Friday, June 22 – Tammy Loukos will be sharing some of her sky diving experiences.

Monday, June 25 – Beth Wise will be sharing some cupcake decorating ideas. Children will have an opportunity to decorate a cupcake and eat it after lunch.

Tuesday, June 26 – Beth Noles, a local bee keeper, will present an informative program about bees.

Friday, June 29 – Tom & Lisa Garrison, will share some of their scuba diving adventures. They will be presenting children a surprise from one of their dives.

When a program is not listed, there will be either arts/crafts, games, and/or child-rated movies. A monthly activity calendar will be given to parents for their children attending BCUMC Summer Lunch Program.