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Lunch program feeds at-risk children during holiday break

Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-26 17:55:51-05

CLEVELAND  — While Christmas might be over, the season of giving continues.

For children in Cleveland who rely on warm lunches at school, winter break can be tough.

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, hosted its annual Winter Break Lunch Program for children who are at-risk for hunger when school is closed during Winter Break.

"The smiles on the parents faces. They are just happy for their kids that they can have this here when their kids are not in school," said Steven Chupnick with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

Children will receive hot, nutritious lunches, play games, and create crafts. Plus, each child will receive a special holiday gift to celebrate the joy of the season.

Dozens of children gathered at the Rainey Institute, playing games, filling their bellies and watching a magic show on Wednesday afternoon.

"It’s important that they have that meal, especially around the holiday time," said volunteer Gabby Williams.

The college student started volunteering with the program nearly five years ago and said watching these kids smile is the reward.

"We just want to make sure that they are being loved, that they are being cared for and that they have everything they need," she said.

The Winter Break Lunch Program will take place all week at the following locations from 11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. through December 28:

  • Five Points Community Center located at 813 East 152nd Street.
  • Garden Valley Neighborhood Center located at 7100 Kinsman Road.
  • Rainey Institute located at 1705 East 55th Street.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Jewish Federation of Cleveland at 216-593-2887.