Holy Family Catholic Community to feed kids, families this summer with new Summer Bites program

This summer, Holy Family Catholic Community will serve up sandwiches and healthy treats to local children and adults when it launches its new lunch program, Summer Bites.

Caring for those in need is a tenet of Holy Family Catholic Community’s mission. In 2020, Holy Family Catholic Community started its Blessed Bites meal-to-go program with the goal of feeding those who are hungry, particularly during the pandemic when there was an increased need and access to such resources had become more difficult. Since then, the parish has operated the program out of St. Mary Church, offering free meals, and other food and hygiene/home care items to anyone who needs them every Tuesday afternoon.

For the past three summers, Holy Family Catholic Community had worked with The Salvation Army of Fond du Lac County to provide free meals through the organization’s Brown Bag Lunch Program. This year, in order to expand the availability of meals in the community, Holy Family Catholic Community will offer its own summer lunch program, Summer Bites — an off-shoot of Blessed Bites.

“We are very grateful for the work The Salvation Army of Fond du Lac County does in our community, and for the many meals it will serve this summer,” Holy Family Catholic Community Pastor, the Very Rev. Ryan Pruess, said. “The addition of Summer Bites will expand the resources available to people in the Fond du Lac area and help to ensure that we reach as many children and families as we can with free meals this summer.”

According to the United Way’s 2023 ALICE Report, 8 percent of households are in poverty and 21 percent of households in Fond du Lac County make less than the basic

cost of living, which means that they cannot afford essentials. Summer Bites will seek to help bridge this gap and provide meals to anyone who is in need of one. In particular, it hopes to serve many children and families who rely on school lunches for food, but it is open to anyone.

Every Tuesday, June 11-August 20, volunteers will pack upwards of 400 lunches, which will include a sandwich, water or juice, fruit, and a snack. Meals will be compiled through donations from parishioners and community members, as well as through the support of The Charity Club, which will sponsor meat for sandwiches this summer.

“The Charity Club is proud to support the Summer Bites program, knowing this outreach will make a meaningful impact on the nutritional needs of many children in our community over the summer months,” The Charity Club President Larissa Clinard said.

The meals will then be distributed at seven locations throughout Fond du Lac. By offering pick up at these spots, Holy Family hopes that people from all corners of the community will be more easily able to receive a meal. Distribution times and locations are as follows:

· Maplewood Commons, Martin Avenue and Hawthorne Drive, 11:00 to 11:20 am

· Sacred Heart Church parking lot, 200 S. Peters Ave., 11:00 to 11:20 am

· St. Mary’s Church parking lot, off Rees Street, 11:00 to 11:20 am

· Jefferson Park, Ninth Street and Sherman Street, 11:30 to 11:50 am

· Buttermilk Park parking lot, 700 S. Park Ave., 11:30 to 11:50 am

· Little Ceasar’s parking lot, corner of Scott and Main Streets, 11:30 to 11:50 am

· St. Katharine Drexel Shelter parking lot, 358 N. Peters Ave., 12:00 to 12:20 pm

If you are interested in volunteering with the program or supporting it, please contact the Holy Family Parish Office at (920) 921-0580 for more information.

“No one should have to worry about where their next meal will come from, and we hope that through Summer Bites, we will be able to help lessen that fear for children and families throughout Fond du Lac,” Holy Family Catholic Community Director of Human Concerns Erin Cobb.