MILWAUKEE — Students are looking forward to summer break, but no classes means no guaranteed lunch. The Salvation Army and Milwaukee Brewers are looking to change that.
"It's important kids continue to receive that nutritious meal during the summer," Maj. Steven Merritt said. "Upward of 60,000 meals will go out this summer."
Tuesday, dozens of volunteers put together simple bagged lunches for students in need. With the help of some Brewers coaches, players and wives, they bagged up some 1,200 lunches in less than a half hour.
"Having my own family, I can't imagine my own kids not having a school lunch," said Larisa Braun, wife of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. "It feels really great to help the kids and give back to the community. Some kid is going to get a lunch and give them a happy belly is a great feeling."
Brewers third base coach Ed Sedar was also on hand. While he usually stands at the hot corner, he was responsible for doling out four corners to the volunteers at the beginning of the sandwich assembly line.
The meals will go out every day to 21 specific locations in Milwaukee. The Salvation Army worked with MPS to identify the areas of most need. In the Milwaukee Public School system, 86% of students are economically disadvantaged, and 43% of kids in Milwaukee County receive FoodShare.
"Working with MPS, identifying the neighborhoods where there aren't schools serving summer lunches," Merritt said. "It's important kids continue to receive that nutritious meal during the summer."
"We have areas where young people don't have proper nourishment," said Sheriff Earnell Lucas of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department. "This is a way to provide nourishment for our young people as well as give them opportunities, outlets to engage and programming in the parks to keep everyone safe."
"It's important kids continue to receive that nutritious meal during the summer. Upward of 60,000 meals will go out this summer." — Maj. Steven Merritt
Lucas knows this is just another layer to his community service: helping in any way he can.
"If everyone plays their part, steps up, we can help stamp out hunger in our community," Lucas said.