Civitan Foundation, a non-profit based in North Phoenix that provides services to the special-needs community, wants to help relieve the pressure that many parents feel around that time of year. By offering a free lunch program, Civitan’s desire is to minimize the worry of the scarcity of quality lunches throughout the summer.
The Free Lunch Program will be funded by a grant from the Arizona Department of Education and will be available through a partnership between Civitan and various places around the Valley that sign up to have food delivered and served there. It will be available Monday-Friday for people who are 18 years old or younger. After serving over 200 people daily last year, Civitan hopes to increase that to 300 this year and expand the number of sites that will serve the food.
Under the direction of renowned chefs, Civitan members will add weight to their skills by learning how to prepare, cook and serve food. This opportunity for the members of Civitan is not taken lightly by them and is something they can always look back on and use as a confidence boost.
According to Civitan’s head nutrition instructor, Carley Barry, every lunch that is served will feature all five food groups. She notes that by having members making such balanced food, they will be educated and serving it to the community provides a healthy benefit to everyone involved.
By taking part in the free lunch program, Civitan is giving its members a sense of purpose and providing them with employment.
“The members feel as if their contributing to something that’s bigger than them,” Barry said. “That’s really important to them.”
The program will last for a month or so and will begin in mid-summer. The exact dates and times are still being fashioned out.
Last year, Civitan served over ten-thousand meals. From pasta to hot dogs and various snacks, Civitan showed its creativity.
Sites such as community centers, Libraries and other non-profit organizations that want to partner with Civitan can sign up to serve food by contacting Carley Barry at 602-953-2944 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.