Last month, we reported that because of a lack of funds, the Union County YMCA would not operate the federal government’s Summer Feeding Program.
For the past 10 years, hundreds of children have received free meals each summer through the program. Authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act, the program was designed to serve areas with a high number of children who receive free and reduced lunches at school. In Union County, all children qualified for the free meals.
The program was operated locally by the YMCA, which provided meals to churches and other organizations.
This year, however, many groups that previously participated in the program chose not to, which shifted the financial burden to the YMCA. Officials there estimated it would cost as much as $3,000-$4,000 to operate the program, which is more than the Y could afford.
However, YMCA CEO Scot Sandor was approached by someone who offered to pay to $4,000 to keep the program going this year.
That one act of generosity caused ripples which spread as far south as Carlisle, whose Summer Lunch and Activities Program was in jeopardy because of the YMCA’s predicament. A group of anonymous donors have agreed to pay for children’s meals there until the YMCA can begin distributing lunches.
Mayor Mary Ferguson Glenn said the donors read about the food program in this newspaper and decided to do something.
“The story in the paper brought that money to these children,” she said.
These acts of kindness — along with many others that occur every day — are what make Union County a special place to live.