Salvation Army feeds hungry high school students
Recently, Captain Dan Wilson began noticing more and more students taking bread from the free table during the lunch hour just inside the doors of the Salvation Army which is located near Grand Junction High School.
He knew there were hungry students whose lunch dollars just couldn’t stretch through the week. In response, Wilson has started serving free lunch to the students every Friday.
“So many of these kids have just fallen through the cracks,” Wilson said while explaining that some students may not have qualified for the school’s free lunch program, but their families still needed help providing enough money to last through the week.
Wilson said he had heard of many families who had lost their jobs after the deadline to apply for help. “We just saw a need here,” he said.
The students see it as a safe, friendly place to spend their time.
“We always come on Fridays,” said Heaven Huggins. She and her friend Andrea Cook said that the volunteers were nice to them and the food was always really good.
Student Jordan Wright said he came because the food was “just awesome.” He shook hot sauce onto giant burrito before selecting a cookie from the dessert table.
His friend, David Garcia, said he came to save a little of his lunch money in order to buy new guitar equipment. “It’s just amazing the amount of food they give us,” he said.
“These are just really great kids,” said Claudia Jackson, director of public relations for the Salvation Army.
Jackson said the organization has applied for grants in order to keep the program growing next year, in hopes of adding more free lunches during the week. Perhaps they could also include breakfast for the students.
“These kids just need to get fed,” Jackson said.
Those wishing to help feed the students can earmark their checks for the program and send them to Salvation Army, 1235 N. Fourth St., Grand Junction 81501.