Too many children depend on their schools for meals and go hungry during the summer when schools are not in session. In 2010, 41% (more than 361,000) of Colorado school children qualified for the National School Lunch Program that offers free and reduced fee lunches in schools. In summer 2011, Colorado served lunches to only 10% of those children.
We need improved delivery systems to raise the participation level and feed children who are hungry during the summer months.
Lunchbox Express (LBX) is a simple mobile food delivery system that targets discrete areas of underserved children and brings lunch to them.
A key symbolic element of our mobile model is the use of a mini school bus. This is a familiar and safe part of most children’s lives. We establish a set schedule, driving a loop of 3-4 stops in a community. Kids and their families can depend on the bus being there every weekday while school is not in session.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is the federal program that makes summer lunches available at approved sites. Food Bank of the Rockies is the sponsor for the LBX sites. The nutritionally-balanced packaged meals and milk are purchased and provided by the Food Bank of the Rockies from federally-approved vendors. There is no means testing for the families for this program. All children 18 and under qualify for a free lunch, no matter where they live or go to school during the year.
The Lunchbox Express (LBX) began from the idea that closed, static sites were not having a significant impact on children’s access to food during the summer session when school was “out.” LBX, a mobile service delivering to kids in their neighborhoods, where they live, was launched summer 2011 (by Allen and Hannah Levy, two long-time community activists and child advocates). Utilizing a donated, repurposed mini-school bus as the delivery vehicle, an enthusiastic band of volunteers, and a bus driver, served 6000 meals at 4 sites in Englewood, CO, during the 11 weeks when school was “out.” In 2012 LBX operated 2 buses and served 18,441 meals (plus 6000 breakfasts and lunches at a school summer session.)
LBX 2013 Operations
We will operate in three Denver Metro communities, distributing free lunches to any child 18 or under. With our bus drivers and our small army of volunteers, we feed kids who would otherwise go hungry when schools are closed.
What people are
saying about us....
This is an awesome program. The kids look forward to it. We live a few blocks away so lunch time gives us an excuse to get some exercise by riding our bikes to and from our house. — Tammy’s mother
I like the oranges. A lot of kids come and you can visit. — Lily, 9- years-old
This is really a wonderful program. We started telling all the kids we know, to get the word out. — Lily’s mother
My children and I volunteer for the LunchBox Express. We enjoy seeing the children so happy and appreciative. — Jennifer
If I could nickname the bus, I’d call it Cupcake. — Lilliana, 8 years old
What people are saying about us....
Friday, June 24, 2011, piece by Nelson Garcia for 9News
June, 2011, article in the Denver Voice.
Westword Denver article about Colorado Children’s Campaign luncheon and panel on childhood hunger.
Copyright 2013 Lunchbox Express