“One in six kids nationwide are at risk of hunger,’ says Kathy Little of the Calvary United Methodist Church, Waymart.

“One in six kids nationwide are at risk of hunger,’ says Kathy Little of the Calvary United Methodist Church, Waymart.

With schools closed for summer vacation, Little says they worry about kids who may not have enough to eat. “There are many children in our community that are able to access the free breakfast and free lunch program during school. So we had a real concern about what would happen to the children during the summer months, without that program being available.” So they’re starting a summer brunch program for kids in the greater Waymart area, beginning July 1. The summer brunch will be held weekdays from 10 to 11 a.m. at their Open Door Cafe, found in the church’s lower level.

Located at 151 Belmont Street in Waymart, Calvary United Methodist Church started the Open Door Cafe three years ago, providing dinner for anyone in need at no charge. Held every Saturday from 4 to 6:30 p.m., from September until the end of May, the program shuts down for the summer months. But this year they’re trying something different. They’re opening it up for the Summer Brunch Program titled “No Child Hungry” to ensure that growing children get the nutrition they need.

Little, Program Coordinator, says it’s a mission’s project, an outreach program for the community, run by the United Methodist Women. The summer brunch program features a cold cereal bar with numerous choices, along with juices and fruits. Little says they plan to feature pancakes from time to time, including banana and chocolate chip varieties. “We’re trying to do it as nutritionally sound as possible,” she said.

Little says the state provides them with quick cooking oatmeal, juice and fruit, and some boxed cereal, but they could always use donations of milk, eggs, bread and more cereal. Little invites stores or private contributors who would like to donate food items, grocery gift cards or money, to contact her at 488-6065. If you’d like to mail a check, please make it payable to United Methodist Women, P.O. Box J, Waymart, PA 18472 (the church’s address).

The summer brunch program will remain open until kids go back to school at the end of August.

Little says they could use help with set up and break-down, as well as people who like to cook and servers. Please contact Kathy Little if you’d like to volunteer.
Stacie Sergio of Waymart and 12-year-old daughter Anissa Meyers have both volunteered to help out. “I think it’s a great program ...Paychecks are not going up, where the cost of living is. Food has gone up so much that you’re spending the same amount of money, but you’re walking away with a whole lot less,” Sergio said, encouraging parents to bring their children.

Anissa, who’s heading into 7th grade this year, has volunteered to act as a “walker” for the program. “Some kids are not old enough to walk across the street and need some help,” she said, volunteering to walk the children to and from brunch. 

Additional programs
Additional programs offered through the Calvary United Methodist Church are as follows:

• The church’s Clothing Closet is open every Friday morning from 9:30 to 11:30, held in the upper level of the church. They also accept donations of clothing. For more details, or to request a special appointment, please contact the church office at 488-6885.

• In August, the church offers free haircuts for kids and free backpacks filled with school supplies. This will be their fourth year with stylists from the community donating their time.
 Last year, they did 62 haircuts. “The kids walked away with such a glow on their faces after having their hair styled and then they pick out the book bag they want.”
Monetary donations to purchase book bags and school supplies are greatly appreciated. “We look around for the best prices,” Little said. An exact date has not yet been set, but the program will be held at the Calvary United Methodist Church in August before the kids return to school.   
  “The Methodist Church does so much for our community. It doesn’t matter to them who you are or where you come from, they feel that we’re all God’s children,” Sergio said.