Joshua Project gearing up for summer lunches


By Jim Poole

The Joshua Project is gearing up to feed the hungry this summer.
The all-volunteer organization is looking for helpers for its Summer Backpack and Summer Lunch programs, both of which run from late June through August.
The Backpack Program provides bags of food, each one enough to feed a child “breakfast, lunch and some dinners” for a week, Joshua President Pat Costello told about 25 volunteers Tuesday night.
A tractor-trailer arrives at Middleburgh High School every Thursday starting June 23, and volunteers organize the food and then pack the bags on Friday.
Jason Becker of MIDTEL offered employees to help unload trucks on Thursdays, and Mr. Costello is looking for volunteers to pack bags on Fridays.
It’s not a small job. The program feeds 150 kids, each one getting two bags per week.
Anyone interested in helping can call Joshua Office Manager Elizabeth Farr at 518-937-2422.
Summer Lunch provides free lunches in Middleburgh, Cobleskill, Richmondville and Central Bridge. Most of the sites are in good shape volunteer-wise, though Middleburgh needs helpers, Mr. Costello said.
Joshua Project will have sign-up sheets for volunteers at its June 14 meeting.
Also, Stephanie Tinker said, organizations, churches and businesses often take days or a week to prepare the lunches.
“Feel free to contact a group or a business to help,” Ms. Tinker said.
Every Wednesday will be pizza day at the four sites, and barbecues will be on Fridays, Mr. Costello said. Cold cuts will be served the other days.
Like the Backpack Program, Summer Lunch feeds many: 60 to 80 in Middleburgh, 40 to 60 each in Cobleskill and Richmondville and 20 to 30 in Central Bridge.
Hours to volunteer are 11am to 1:30pm on weekdays. Helpers can call Ms. Farr at the above number.