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In the Coppell community, thankfully, the majority of kids have access to food whenever they need it. Yet, as with all areas, there are those less fortunate who may not know where their next meal is going to come from. The Metrocrest Sack Summer Hunger program is there for those in need.
Metrocrest is a service organization that has many initiatives in the area such as helping people find jobs, providing clothing, and even rent assistance to those in need. The tagline on their website reads "building a stronger community together," and in just the past year they have assisted nearly 13,000 individuals on their way to self-sufficiency.
Sack Summer Hunger is a service available to kids in Coppell, Farmers Branch, Carrollton and the Addison communities. Those in the program are on free or reduced priced lunches and breakfasts during the school year. To put the program in perspective Metrocrest is giving those in need roughly 130 meals spread out on a weekly basis throughout the summer.
"We procure the food primarily from the North Texas Food Bank," Metrocrest CEO Tracy Eubanks said. "The food we use is not donated, we do take monetary donations. For instance, $54 dollars feeds a kid all summer."
While donations cover most of the cost, Metrocrest also applies for government grants to subsidize the rest of the initiative. Once the cost is covered, the volunteers step in to make a difference.
"The Lions Club has been helping with the delivery of the meals for the past few years," Coppell Lions Club Vice President Dan Madden said. "Metrocrest and their volunteers prepare the meals and put together the sacks each week during the summer, and then on ten Saturdays each summer groups of us go to pick up the meals and take them out for delivery."
These sacks consist of items for breakfast, lunch and snacks for five days each week. Many of us take something as simple as food for granted, thinking hunger problems aren't prevalent in this area, yet volunteering for this program and seeing the excitements and the gratitude of those in need is powerful.
"It's great to knock on [the child's] door and say you're with Metrocrest," Eubanks said. "They open the door and say 'hey my food is here!' you can really tell it makes a big difference in their lives."
With around 1,900 kids in the program, the positive effect on the lives of those in need is without question, yet there are 19,000 kids in the area that can benefit from this service. Most schools give children information about Metrocrest Services, but if you are one of those who could benefit from this program or would like to volunteer call 972-446-2100 or visit the Metrocrest website.