LACONIA _ More than 100,000 meals have been provided to feed children in need since Got Lunch Laconia was formed eight years ago, organizers said Monday as they prepared for another summer of service.

Those who want to help this week can mention the group while dining at certain participating restaurants, which will then make a donation.

Participating on Tuesday are the Lyons’ Den, Village Bakery and Laconia Local Eatery, on Wednesday, the Brick Front, Annie’s Cafe, Faro Italian Grille and on Thursday, Wayfarer Roasters, Hector’s and Tavern 27.

T-Bones, Cactus Jack’s, Burrito Me and Patrick’s Pub participated on Monday.

Rev. Paula Gile, associate pastor of Congregational Church of Laconia, has been involved in the summer food program since its inception.

She said the significant need for food in the community is shown by the fact that almost two-thirds of public school students qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches through a federal program.  

These lunches will not be available once school lets out for the summer,  so Got Lunch Laconia will bridge the food gap until school starts again in the fall.

“There are many families out there with low-paying jobs and they simply can’t afford to buy the kind of food we provide,” Gile said.

“It’s a big deal. We deliver directly to their door.”

Anyone wishing to participate in the program can get a registration form at www.gotlunchlaconia.org or by reaching out to Got Lunch Laconia, 18 Veterans Square, 603-524-0668.

Food includes chicken, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti, bread, fruit and vegetables.

Local farms that participate include Beans and Greens, Still Seeking Farm, Moulton Farm, Red Manse Farm and Winnipesaukee Woods Farm.

Participants also get a voucher they can redeem at Vista Foods for eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt.

Last year, 557 children participated in the program. More than 200 volunteers make the program work. 

One of the organizers is David Barth.

Asked why he got involved, he said jokingly, “My wife told me to.

“But seriously it’s a way to do something for the community. We found that there was a need in the summer for the kids.”

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