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For over 10 years, the Pulaski County School System, in Somerset KY has had a bus that went to the areas with the large concentrations of low income children (ages 0-18) to provide them with a fresh lunch in a bag + milk (provided by the Federal Summer Feeding program) and a new book of their choosing .  In their last year  of operation, the children also received a bag of  kid friendly canned and boxed food from Project 58:10 to supplement the lunches. Project 58:10 was started by another local church to provide children with bags of kid friendly food each weekend and chose to continue to serve the children on the Summer Feeding bus route.
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In 2014, due to financial constraints and the end of the Book Grant (Reading is Fun!) the County School System was no longer able to offer this  outreach feeding and reading program.  The Missions Committee of First United Methodist Church felt called to continue this much needed outreach.  We knew, that during the school year, many of these children receive 3 free meals a day at their school.  However, during the summer, the low income families can find it hard to stretch their incomes and/or Food Stamps to provide these meals.  Beginning in June 2014, we were able to serve an average of 120 children in a variety of low income apartment complexes and mobile home parks. We continued to partner with the Project 58:10 churches and provided each child with one of their bags as well as the fresh lunch and milk from the Federal Feeding Program.  
We went out to the areas on Mondays and Wednesdays in our church van with volunteers to drive and serve the food. After seeing the need and realizing how much this food meant to the children, the congregation  became distressed about food for these children during the school fall, winter and spring breaks as there is no Federal Feeding program for these periods of time.   We made a second commitment to continue to operate The Children’s Table and raise the funds to provide these children with at least one meal each week plus a bag of food , that we prepared, that they could serve themselves. 
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Expenses: This ministry is strictly volunteer driven.  Members of our church drive and ride the bus to serve meals, hand out the books and provide encouragement.  Members of the Pulaski County Family Resource and Youth Service Centers also volunteer their time to ride with us.  This gives them a chance to connect with their students during the summer and other breaks, as well as check on their well being.  Our major costs during the summer is providing books to the children and fuel expense. During the three school breaks,  (not including summer) it costs  around $500 a week for the lunches and supplemental bags. Again, it is hard to estimate the cost of books that we would like to offering during these breaks.  These monies are not included in our church budget and we are relying on donations to support this ministry. Contact us if you would like to donate or volunteer to serve!
Books: We have decided to continue to offer new books to the children each week during the summer and the breaks.  Statistics show that the literacy rate among low income children is much lower than their peers in middle income families partially due to the lack of books in the home.  Many of these families are transient and books are not a high priority to take when they move..  These children hear 32 million fewer words than their counterparts by age 4. We have received a large donation of new and used books, but cannot judge how long these will last.   
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YOUR KROGER CARD CAN KEEP ON GIVING!

If you have not enrolled, this is a great time to do so!  The monies the Missions Committee receives through the Kroger Community Rewards program goes straight into funding for the Children’s Table.  Our greatest financial need is during the Fall, Winter and Spring school breaks when we are purchasing the food for the lunches and additional food bags. Krogers donates a percentage of each of your grocery purchases to The Children’s Table - all you have to do is sign up (see options above)  and refer to organization # 11335 With only a phone call or going online and registering your Plus Card, you can make sure that Kroger will increase their contribution to our program. This does not affect your points earned on your Kroger Plus Card. It's easy to register! August 1st  -August 31st, each participant currently signed up to support the Children’s Table through Kroger Community Rewards will be required to re-enroll his or her Kroger Plus card on an annual basis.                       

Option 1: Online you can enter Kroger Community Rewards Program and click on Sign Up Today.  You will create an account and enter #11335 as the Organization number for our church.  Have your  Kroger Plus Card handy as you will need to enter that number.                                 .                                                

Option 2: Call 1-800-576-4377, press option 3 and tell the Customer Service Rep that you would like to register your Plus Card for the Community Rewards Program, Organization #11335 and have your PLUS Card ready!
 
Option 3: Email:  KC24@kroger.com