Food insecurity is a significant problem in the Lakeshore Public School district. Did you know that as of October 2022, an average of 33.7% of our elementary students had applied for free and reduced meals? Aside from the obvious side effects of food insecurity, educational proficiency suffers a great deal due to the lack of sufficient nutritious food.
Using a model from First Congregational Church in St. Joseph that began a weekend food pack program for the elementary schools in St. Joseph, and their previous experience with food pack programs, Stevensville United Methodist Church embarked on the same mission in the Lakeshore district. Beginning in April 2023, Lancer Lunches provides Lakeshore students with meals to help support their nutritional needs over the weekends. The funding for this program comes solely from the generosity of the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, which donated $20,000 to this important cause. The dedicated team coordinating the program consists of Kellie Meyer, Sarah Melcher, Sandy Hayes, and LEF Trustee Lori Hellenga. They have a terrific volunteer group that gathers every Thursday afternoon to pack the bags so our Lancer kids can have meals all weekend!
There is a strong correlation between adequate nutrition and educational success. Thanks to the LEF and our volunteers, the Lakeshore community will be stronger and more successful than ever!