A dedicated team of Holy Family volunteers helps to make 300 lunches every Tuesday through the summer for the local Salvation Army’s Brown Bag Lunch Program. (Submitted photo)

For the third summer, volunteers from Fond du Lac’s Holy Family Parish are packing 300 lunches per week to help feed children and families in their community.

The city’s longest-running summer lunch program began with the Salvation Army in 1993 as the organization recognized a need in the Fond du Lac community. While during the school year children are ensured one lunch a day, during summer vacation, families can no longer depend on these meals. The program offers a free sack lunch to children and families every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer months.

Seeing the continuing need amid the pandemic, Holy Family Catholic Community joined in the effort in 2021, helping to bolster the program during a difficult time and spotlighting the care for community that is at its heart.

Two years later, the parish continues to lead the program on Tuesdays, with volunteers packing 300 lunches comprised of donations from the parish community, as well as the greater Fond du Lac community. These bagged meals include a peanut butter or meat sandwich, water/juice, chips/snack, fruit/vegetable, and a dessert item.

“The Brown Bag Lunch Program can be a lifeline for families who are struggling to make ends meet. If a family has to choose between putting food on their table or keeping the lights on, a meal like this can help to ease some of that burden. It can be a steppingstone towards helping them get back on their feet,” Holy Family Catholic Community Director of Human Concerns Erin Cobb said.

While other meal programs operate in the Fond du Lac area during the summer, the Brown Bag Lunch Program tries to go directly to four locations in the areas of most need. The Salvation Army of Fond du Lac County also offers a pantry for people in need. To learn more, contact The Salvation Army at 920-923-8220.

Holy Family Catholic Community also invites those in need of food to come to its Blessed Bites program, which runs on Tuesdays throughout the year. Through the program, people can receive a free to-go meal, canned/boxed goods, and hygiene/home care items for free when they come to St. Mary Church, 59 E. Merrill Ave. Food is available 4 to 5 p.m. — or until meals are gone.