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Small church, big impact: Forest Park Church launches summer meal program

After two-week-long pilot, summer meal program begins for students while senior meal program is still in the works

ROANOKE, Va. – One small Roanoke church is trying to make a big impact in its neighborhood this summer.

With the help of Roanoke City Schools, Forest Park Church launched their summer meal program this week.

The church is offering grab and go breakfast and lunch for students.

The program started Monday, but two weeks earlier the Forest Park Church did a pilot program to figure out resources and make sure this was something they could keep up throughout the summer.

“We’re excited. The pilot program went fantastic. We distributed almost 400 meals during that time so we’re excited to keep that going, making sure people are fed, their kids are fed everyday and just excited we’re able to offer this to them," said lead pastor, James Foutz-Vega.

Meals are only for students, pick-up is Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the church parking lot (812 29th Street NW, Roanoke VA 24017). Meals are first come, first serve.

Forest Park Church’s congregation recognizes students aren’t the only ones missing out on meals.

The plan is to also provide meals for seniors throughout the week.

The congregation already offers hot meals to anyone hungry on Sundays, they also have a food pantry and a clothing closet. Together, they just want to show how church is more than what happens in a building especially during a pandemic.

“The idea was the biggest need in our community is food, making sure that the kids are fed, seniors are fed, the disabled are fed, we really wanted to make sure the community was taken care of even though we weren’t meeting on Sunday mornings,” Foutz-Vega said.

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