Warm Smiles and Summer Meals

As the school year ends, summer approaches and students are unable to eat their school lunches as usual. Thankfully, Three Square provides kids with meals during the summer through its Meet Up & Eat Up mobile routes. Each mobile route consists of 10 sites with meal deliveries taking place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The sites include apartment complexes and mobile home parks where children under the age of 18 receive free meals. On Fridays, the kids also receive supplemental, shelf-stable meals for breakfast and lunch to sustain them over the weekend.

This summer, the heat in Las Vegas reached an extreme high of 117 degrees but that didn't stop the children from coming out to receive meals at their apartment complexes. Last year, we served 12,320 total meals on the mobile routes. This year we successfully doubled the amount of meals served with a total of 26,289 meals served on both routes.The mobile routes have made significant impacts throughout the summer, not only including the number of meals served, but also our commitment to serving families and becoming a familiar face in the community.

Last summer, when my team and I were at the Sunset Terrace apartment complex, we met a single mother of three daughters who stumbled upon the mobile route. The family did not live at the apartment complex but rather in a house right across the street. From that day forward, the family came to the feeding site daily for lunch throughout the summer. The mother was patient with her daughters, helping them to try new foods that were in the Three Square meal boxes and every day she would express how thankful she was for the food truck. As the summer of 2016 came to a close, our hearts went out to the family for a wonderful school year.

In preparation for the summer 2017 mobile routes, my team and I visited apartments and placed Meet Up & Eat Up door hangers on each door to inform residents about the program. As we finished canvassing Sunset Terrace, we made sure to visit the one house across the street before we left the area. As we pulled up, we saw the mother we met last year. We shared smiles as I got out of the car to hand her a Meet Up & Eat Up flyer. We locked eyes, exchanged hugs and were truly happy to see each other this summer. Tremendous joy was shared knowing that the family was still living near Sunset Terrace and that they would be able to receive meals.

To learn about Three Square's Meet Up & Eat Up and childhood nutrition programs, visit threesquare.org/childhood.

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