PIQUA — For more than two decades, the Piqua Salvation Army has been living the words of Matthew 25:35 — “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink” — by making sure local children have enough to eat during the summer when school is out.
Now in its 21st year, the Salvation Army’s Summer Feeding Program got under way on May 30, delivering free, nutritious meals to various locations in Piqua for children from infants to 18 years old.
Maj. Jody L. Kramer, the Salvation Army Corps’ commanding officer and pastor, said it was shared with her that the program began out of the heart and vision of Maj. Margaret Starnes when she and her husband, Maj. Ron Starnes, were the Corps officers in Piqua.
“She remembered the struggle her own family encountered growing up in making ends meet and having enough food over the summer months when school was not in session,” Maj. Kramer said.
“Currently, we still serve out of our building, but take meals out to six different locations in the community to ensure that children who may not have transportation will still have food to eat throughout the summer months.”
The food truck makes several stops daily around the city:
• 10:55-11:10 a.m. — Paris Court
• 11:20-11:35 a.m. — Shawnee (Central Baptist Church)
• 11:45-11:55 a.m. — Washington Commons
• Noon to 12:10 p.m. — Piqua Village
• 12:45-1 p.m. — Kiwanis Park (corner of Boone and Walker streets)
• 1:05-1:20 p.m. — Das Park (corner of Park Avenue and Broadway Street)
All times are approximate, as the truck might arrive early or be delayed a few minutes. Meals also are served from 11:30 a.m. to noon at the Salvation Army, which is located at 129 S. Wayne St. in Piqua.
According to Maj. Kramer, more than 9,400 meals were served during last year’s 11-week program. This year’s program runs through Aug. 18, providing an extra week of meals.
“The meals vary from day to day, but we always provide a well-balanced meal,” Maj. Kramer said. “Susanne Pummill, who invests her time and heart into this program, cooks meals that are varied, nutritious, well-balanced and kid-friendly.”
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341