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Hundreds of needy kids receive free lunches last week in Mason City


This news story was published on June 22, 2014.
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MASON CITY, IA – Mason City School’s Summer Food Service Program kicked off Monday, June 16 at Shelter 4 in East Park, Mason City.

After one week of the summer feeding program, more than 450 children up to the age of 18 received free lunches. Adults can also eat these lunches at the low cost of $3.50.

The Summer Food Service Program runs Monday through Friday until July 11th, excluding July 4th for Independence Day. Each day has a fun theme for kids to enjoy activities after lunch.

Participants enjoyed learning about nutrition with Cerro Gordo Department of Public Health on Monday, Playing sports with Super Target employees on Tuesday, experimenting with fizzy explosions on Wednesday, Reading with the RSVP reading buddies and volunteers on Thursday, and receiving free goodies to take home on Friday. Be sure to check back every day to see what fun new thing we have planned.

“I think this is great program and beneficial for kids and families. I am glad people are taking advantage of it and participating in it,” Said Hal Minear, Assistant Super Intendant to Mason City Schools. “We are thankful for the support of volunteers and United Way. It’s really a community project.”

If you’re interested in helping with the activities at the summer feeding program, UWNCI is currently recruiting volunteers. Volunteers may contact Loni Dirksen via email, cm@unitedwaynci.org or by phone, 641-423-1774 to sign up.

The Summer Food Service program is funded by the USDA every year to provide children ages 0-18 a free, healthy, hot lunch Monday through Friday while school is out for the year. Food is freshly cooked at Mason City High School’s cafeteria kitchen and delivered by Mason City School’s staff to Shelter #4 in East Park.

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29 Responses to Hundreds of needy kids receive free lunches last week in Mason City

  1. Avatar

    GeraldineJones Reply Report comment

    June 25, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    God Bless You Mary Beth, Iowa, BCN, Philly and LVS. Well said ladies and gents.

    As for you Liberty,…you should be ashamed of yourself. Then move on to Plan B.)Going back to school. Learn to spell correctly and construct a proper sentence and read facts before spouting such anger and bitterness. I almost feel sorry for you and the ignorant sentiments that spill from that thing you call pie-hole.

  2. Avatar

    llaheyebba Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    This is a program not just for “needy” children, but for ALL in our community. There are no income requirements, or even information taken to be able to participate. I took my school-aged daughter last year to eat with friends while having an educational activity to go along with it, and will again this year. It is a healthier option than going to a fast food joint, and we happily donate both money and time to play our part–as do many of the “greedy” parents there.

  3. Avatar

    Iowa Sucks Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Mr. Liberty comments are just dripping with envy and prejudice. In his mind it’s OK to spend 4 trillion dollars to kill a million Iraqi, but poor kids don’t deserve a dime. Next.

  4. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    25% is correct and the fact that the national average is more is justifying my comments. 25 % is bad more than that is worse…. You also believe the IRS just lost those emails….

  5. Avatar

    BCN Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Mary Beth Greenan, my hats off to you. You are spot on. Well said!

    I was going to articulate a response, but it would have paled in comparison to your comments.

    Sadly I am not surprised by some that seem to pull their “facts” out of their hindquarters and their beliefs from a misguided sense of righteous indignation.

    Note to self: Be sure to have all your facts lined up before attempting to pee in Ms. Greenan’s cheerios. 🙂

  6. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    College Education for the children of killed marines in action. 100% given too families . Please send your money here. Thanks..

  7. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I bet 90% of those children who got free lunches live in a home that the adults have smart phones and/or cable TV. It’s kinda like those idiots who drive around with against child abuse stickers on their Prius. Like anybody is for child abuse or hungry children. The solution starts in the home, but the problem does help those who emotionally need social ills so they can fill there own emotional limitations with do called helping……

  8. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Also if you are giving to charity study what your doing because you will find the overhead for the United Way is about 25%. You can find a lot better charities to give too.

    • Avatar

      Marybeth Greenan Reply Report comment

      June 23, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      If you research well, you will see that 25% is below the United States average. I spent my life working for not-for profits and still do… Your information is completely wrong. Yet, not surprising..

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        June 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm

        Mary Beth YOU need to do some research about our local United Way regarding the overhead. If your comments are based upon information dating back 10 year ago or so….I understand. It is not the same United Way as it once was. A shame actually!

  9. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    If we just gave more money…. Everybody would be happy and not hungry at least until next year when some agency needs to justify its existence. Then we have kids hungry again…

    • Avatar

      Marybeth Greenan Reply Report comment

      June 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      People like u are what is wrong with America. Whiners who feel superior to others, berate others and do nothing to help out the cause. Where do you volunteer? Where do you give your charitable dollars? If we are fortunate, we are called to help others. I learned that early from my grandparents and parents and my church. It is about social justice, preference for the poor, the disabled, the lonely, the widow, the orphan…. Your heart is so cold and calloused, it is blind to the plight.

  10. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Let’s be honest the the poor in America have 2 cars a couple large flat screen TV’s and a family of 5 gets over $900 per month in food stamps. So much that immigrants who receive all this food have the money to ship a lot of it back home. Most in the US have no idea what poor is today nor do they care. Let’s see cable tv or food for a week !?! Cigs or food for a week ?!? Smart phones or food for a week !?!?!?

    • Avatar

      Marybeth Greenan Reply Report comment

      June 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Well, it is pretty clear that u don’t care. Have u ever worked or volunteered anywhere where there are poor hungry children.. You are absolutely full of shit. Your comments indicate that you are doing fine. And, the true poor do not have all the things u are talking about. Now, I know of many drug dealers homes with all of these things..But that is entirely another issue. But again, the children should not be suffering due to lack of proper parents and parenting. God help them and you…

  11. Avatar

    Marybeth Greenan Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    If you are not aware of the needs in this community– than keep silent. Just be thankful that u have a job and food on the table. No doubt there are people who should not be parents– but that is not the reality we face here in N.IA The children should not suffer because they have irresponsible parents, incarcerated parents, etc. Then we have the working poor, minimum wage jobs and that is the best they can do with their education level or circumstances. Don’t blame– pray for the kids.

  12. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    garden and work two jobs….

  13. Avatar

    Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Where there is a “free lunch” follow the money. I bet this is a recruiting tool to get more kids on the free lunch program during the school year as this is tied to the federal money schools get on a yearly basis. Kinda of a new way to make sure people know there needy. Kind of like all the bill boards a few years ago trying get people to get free cheese and stuff…… Hell if the economy keeps going like it is I might have to sign up. No, wait I guess not I will just make a bigger…

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      June 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      @Mr. Liberty-would you rather the kids went hungry??

  14. Avatar

    Bobby G Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    The parents shouldn’t be having kids in the first place. All there doing is trying to get more welfare. Makes a person sick don’t it?

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      June 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      @Bobby G.-What you say may be true but, they did have the kids and they are here and they are hungry. They didn’t ask to be born and they didn’t ask to be hungry. Our tax money goes for a lot worse things than this.

      • Matt Marquardt

        Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

        June 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm

        I think the taxpayers should buy Buffoonmeyer his own personal snow cone maker.

        • Avatar

          LVS Reply Report comment

          June 26, 2014 at 8:50 am

          @Matt-I will bet if we proposed that to the council they would vote it in. Anything for Eric.

  15. Avatar

    sad but true Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    BNC, I lost my head, I forgot, I work so others dont have to, I just thought maybe, if the parents cut pack to 2 packs a day, they could feed their own kids? I forgot, I probably already pay for their healhcare, their housing, their foodstamps, etc, etc, etc.
    I forgot, I am not entitled to any of the money I work for, money for my kids! For MY family. I forgot our once proud, independent country, has now turned into nothing more than a welfare state.
    I will work longer and harder tomorrow

    • Avatar

      Marybeth Greenan Reply Report comment

      June 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      I am sure you failed to research this issue. The money comes strictly from donations to the United Way by local businesses. Not your precious tax dollars. But ya know, there are a lot of hungry children, thru no fault of their own. I would be happy to help them any way I could. We are called to be God’s hearts and hands on this earth..

      Shame on those with these bad attitudes… Clearly you have not been out there to see what is really going on with poor families…the working poor.

      • Avatar

        Spouting false info Reply Report comment

        June 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        The lunches are funded through the USDA for children. That was in the local paper–those are tax dollars. I am not taking a stand on the issue but think it’s important for people to tell the truth.

  16. Avatar

    BCN Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    No need to assume on this one….that anyone that complains about feeding hungry children is a complete asshole.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      June 23, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      @BCN-this time I agree with you. Nothing wrong with feeding hungry kids, nothing at all.

  17. Avatar

    sad but true Reply Report comment

    June 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    What is free about this program??
    I would assume my tax dollars are buying the food.
    I would assume my tax dollars are paying for the cooks.
    I would assume my tax dollars are paying for the claen up.
    I would assume my tax dollars are paying for people to stand around and monitor the kids.
    I would assume, if the truth were known, it would be cheaper to feed them at Papas or Mulligans.
    Another “freeby from me, that aint so free”

    • Avatar

      philly Reply Report comment

      June 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      ^Born in Assumption Junction, Iowa.^
      I’m gonna go ahead & assume that noone cares much about your assumptions. Gather some facts, then come back & apologize.