The large school bus decorated with images of fresh fruits and veggies, used to seem out of place at Dukes Mobile Home Park, but now it’s a welcome …
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The large school bus decorated with images of fresh fruits and veggies, used to seem out of place at Dukes Mobile Home Park, but now it’s a welcome sight for residents.
The bus is better known as the Summer Lunch Club and has traveled to two sites, Monday through Friday, since the beginning of July. The bus, which is in its first year of operation as part of the Summer Meals Program, delivers meals to children in low-income neighborhoods. It stops at Dukes Mobile Home Park, 5460 Harlan St., at 11 a.m., and Sheridan Mobile Home Park, 5305 N. Sheridan Blvd., at noon. The program will operate through Friday, Aug. 10.
According to Geri Coleman, program facilitator, the summer got off to a bit of a slow start because its first week coincided with the July 4 holiday.
However, the more stops the bus made at the locations, the more children the club saw coming out to enjoy a free lunch.
“We have quite a few regulars,” Janet Parker, on-board manager, said.
The crew working on the bus has gotten to know several of the children in the neighborhood who eat with the club on a daily basis. Parents are also able to enjoy a meal for $3.50, and sit with their children while they eat.
“I eat everything they give me,” said Seth, a child who lives at Dukes and meets with the Summer Lunch Club daily, and resident of Dukes.
On Aug. 3 Seth ate a hamburger on a whole-wheat bun, plus watermelon, relish and milk. On Fridays, volunteer, Agape Hammond comes along to read, in both English and Spanish, to the children while they eat.
This is her second year volunteering with the Summer Meals Program, and said she has enjoyed traveling with the bus.
“I just enjoy reading, and the kids are great,” Hammond said.
Other community members have started coming out to spend time with the children in the club as well. A local church has members play games with the children, and a retired couple in Arvada help with arts and crafts.
“The kids call them grandma and grandpa,” said Steve Studley, bus driver and food server on the bus.
He said he neighborhood has been very receptive to everyone, and the club has been a positive experience for everyone involved.
“Everybody who has been part of this is excited for what it is and what it can become,” he said.
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