Volunteer Maria “Coco” Galvan with her beautiful and helpful children.
This Spring Break, neighborhood children and volunteers from the community gathered together for GRACE’s Feed Our Kids Program. The heart behind Feed Our Kids is to ensure each child has a nutritious and yummy lunch while school is not in session. Two locations, one at our former location on Scribner and another at the new Main Office on Walnut Street, served up lunches and smiles as the kids enjoyed eating and playing in the sunshine.
Feed Our Kids alleviates some of the burden of food insecurity that too many families in our community face. The sad reality is that many parents are either unable to take time off during school vacations due to stringent hourly shifts, or a recent emergency has forced them to make difficult decisions between necessities. This program serves children through the summer months and also during Spring Break.
Pictured below left to right: Volunteers Angie Fraga, Meredith Brubaker and Mollie Drake serving at GRACE Main Campus.
The sight of happy, carefree children and volunteers serving with glad hearts is truly uplifting and encouraging. It takes a lot of work, time and resources to ensure the program cares for as many individuals as it does. Throughout the year, your contributions and our GRACE events and fundraising work to build the necessary financial means to support Feed Our Kids with the goal to provide for as many children as possible. And the support from our dedicated volunteers – which includes many of the children within the program – is paramount.
For nine years, residents – mothers and children – of the Shady Oaks Community in Grapevine have partnered with members of First United Methodist Church of Grapevine in serving children outside of our former GRACE office location on Scribner. Maria “Coco” Galvan and Nicolasa Castro and their children work hard throughout the summer months and Spring Break to organize Feed Our Kids near their community. The children contribute much time and effort preparing and packing lunches for their peers as well. Several FUMC volunteers from this past Wednesday’s lunch have worked alongside Maria and Nicolasa these past nine years, dedicating their time for Spring Break and three weeks during the summer to serving.
Pictured left to right: Rich Reece, Debbie Price, Maria “Coco” Galvan, Sue Schultz and Anne Rhoades serving at the Scribner location.
GRACE volunteer and FUMC member, Sue Schultz, gushes about Maria, aka “CoCo,” “She encourages her own children and every child she encounters, motivating them to place importance on their education.” CoCo and her friend and neighbor, Nicolasa, spend most of their days during FOK preparing the lunches at FUMC, feeding over 50 children each day, and staying on-site until 3 p.m. to be certain every child is fed and is able to enjoy playing outside.
“I feel like the church and GRACE have been helping a lot, with clinics and healthcare for women and those without insurance. This is a way to say thank you for everything they have done for us. There are no words to say thank you enough.”
Lori Stevens, GRACE Seasonal Programs Coordinator, beams with gratitude over the fantastic support and effort her volunteers and our supporters provide in order that FOK continues to thrive and grow each year. The City of Grapevine even steps in to provide sign-ups for free summer swimming lessons and free Wednesday summer swims all summer long to our children, and FUMC members pitch in again by providing transportation to the pool.
There are so many people to thank that are responsible for making FOK successful. From June to August 2018 alone, 30,980 meals were served to thankful children. For more information on how you can volunteer your time to Feed Our Kids you may contact Lori Stevens or Sarah Armand, GRACE Development & Volunteer Coordinator. These two women work tirelessly to organize these tremendous volunteer efforts and programs. To the individuals, groups and local businesses who pitch in to see that thousands of children eat a hearty meal while classrooms are closed, we thank you!