Triumph Church outreach program feeds children in need

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

Inside Triumph Church’s Dream Center on Clay Street, large cardboard boxes sit in rows on tables as volunteers prepare the food that will provide meals for school children who might otherwise not receive a nutritious lunch.

For two years, Triumph Church’s Student Lunch program has been preparing and delivering hot lunches daily to children under 18 living in Vicksburg. So far this summer, the program has delivered about 4,000 meals to students in low-income families.

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“We deliver the meals for about 5 1/2 weeks, from July through the beginning of August, said associate pastor Anthony Fields. “By the time July comes, the (public) school system’s grant money (for summer lunches) has run out. From May through June, the schools feed the kids lunches. We fill in the gap between when they stop and until just before school starts.

“We prepare about 200 meals a day for delivery.”

Fields said the children served by the program are found in several ways, through advertising the program, word-of-mouth and referrals either to the church, or church members, and through social media like Facebook. The people who refer children to the program, he said, also tell the families they made the referral.

“We usually meet the families when we deliver the meals,” he said.

The program follows a set menu to ensure the students it serves receive a nutritious meal consisting of a main dish and at least one side dish.

Work begins in the morning, when cook Carolyn Johnston begins preparing the meal assisted by volunteers. When the meals are prepared, they are loaded in boxes and then into vehicles for delivery to the recipients.

“We usually get about 12-15 volunteers a day,” said Triumph pastor the Rev. Mike Fields. “This has been Anthony’s project; he’s developed it, and he and Ms. Carolyn run it. We used to have children coming in for the lunches, but it go too hot for them to walk here, so we began doing deliveries, which has been better.”

Anthony Fields said the church presently funds the program, adding food donations are welcomed.

“What we need is canned vegetables, pasta, and other items like Velveeta, which won’t melt. We have a box at the church entrance where people can drop off food.”

For more information about donations, call the church at 601-636-5282.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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