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'Feed My Sheep Summer Feeding Program' to begin on June 3
BRIDGEPORT - Beginning June 3, free lunches and an open gym for all students, grades one through 12, will be available each weekday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Fountain Family Worship Center gymnasium on Illinois Route 250 in Bridgeport.

The "Feed My Sheep Summer Feeding Program" has long been on the hearts and minds of the Fountain Fellowship ministry as part of a long-term initiative to provide a safe place for children of the community to worship, learn and have fun.

For five years, the church has sponsored Friday night events which provide a meal to those children in attendance. Noting a void that will be felt when school is not in session, the church set plans in motion.

This is the first year that a fully functional gym is available to youth. Baskeball, dodge ball, a pool table, corn hole, video games and a flat screen television are among the activity offerings.

The meals will be pre-prepared, as there will be no on-site cooking, and brought to the gym which could accommodate from up to 300 people. Based on past summer feeding programs at the local school, however, it is estimated that around 50 children could initially benefit from the noon meal program.

A local dietician is working with the church to establish a meal plan with simple, healthy meals. Some kids' favorites, such as pizza or sub sandwiches from local restaurants, will be integrated into the menu.

Organizations looking for a way to help have already contacted pastor Charlie Ash with an interest in donating time, money or food for the program. Ash said that three to six volunteers will be needed on site for the weekday mealtime. That need, however, will also be contingent upon the number of children who attend. All volunteers will be subject to a background check.

The program will conclude the first week of August.

Those wishing to volunteer or donate are encouraged to send a private message to Ash via Facebook or call 618-240-1349.



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