17: How The Salvation Army keeps kids full for the weekend with Lt. James Fleming
You’ve probably heard of The Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving dinners, food pantries or the provision of meals during a natural disaster. But you might not know that TSA in communities across the country fills backpacks or other bags with food to send home from school with kids for the weekend. That’s to make sure kids who receive free or low-cost breakfasts and lunches at school don’t go hungry at home. Hemet, California, is one of those communities. Located some 80 miles from downtown Los Angeles in the San Jacinto Valley, the 28-square mile city has a population of roughly 85,000 people. With a median household income of about $37,000, some 23 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty line. And the number of children who qualified for the National School Lunch Program was so high, the school district decided to make it easier—now everyone qualifies. For Lt. James Fleming, the corps officer or pastor of the Hemet Corps, making sure a person gets the help they need is his greatest passion. And that includes these kids. In this episode, Lt. James shares more about The Salvation Army’s weekend food program for school kids in Hemet. He works with volunteers, donors, drivers and school nurses to make sure bags with four meals, four snacks and two drinks go home on Friday afternoons with the kids who need it. Find show notes for this episode and more at caringmagazine.org/podcast.