Neighborhood Meal and Enrichment Program 2012 Overview
DURING THE SUMMER OF 2012:
The Neighborhood Meal and Enrichment Program provided a warm, nutritious meal, for (but not limited to) the Wellington Heights, Mound View, and Oak Hill neighborhood children and their families. Noon meals were provided at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for the neighborhood children and their families. The meals were prepared and served on site. Six community churches helped to sponsor the program. This was the twenty-third year for the program. A total of 11,347 meals were prepared and served during the summer of 2012.
- The program operated Monday-Friday for eleven weeks.
- 220 different volunteers worked a total of 1024 hours the summer of 2012.
- Volunteers helped prepare and serve meals in the kitchen. Volunteers in the dining room serve water and wipe the tables as guests clear their trays after eating. Some days when there were not enough church-based volunteers, neighborhood guests volunteered their help.
- The NMEP worked in collaboration with the St. Paul’s UMC SPRINT summer youth program and the Matthew 25 Program by providing meals prepared at St. Paul’s UMC.
- The NMEP employs a Program Director part time year around. In addition, the NMEP employs one Food Production Manager during the summer months.
- Funding for the NMEP came from private donations, community donations, pledges from the sponsoring Churches, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, The Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the ELCA (Lutheran) Domestic Hunger Grant, and the Summer Food Service Program for Children. The program received food donations from some private individuals, and has access to the HACAP Food Reservoir. There is no one source of continuous funding for the program, and so fund raising is a continual, on-going process.
- To eliminate any barriers to service, there is no charge for any of the program services for any of the participants.
- More adults came with their children to eat this summer. This seemed a positive sign of forming bridges between the program and the entire family unit within the neighborhoods.
- The NMEP will continue to communicate with other community groups and organizations during the year to be sure there is no duplication of services, and that there is collaboration with other groups whenever possible.
The six churches sponsoring the NMEP in 2012 were: Christ Episcopal, First Lutheran, First Presbyterian, Grace Episcopal, St. Paul's United Methodist, and Westminster Presbyterian.