Kaylee Ramey watches a group of squirrels play in the distance as she eats her lunch at Liberty Park. Ramey and her “paw-paw” Tony Schneider were spending some time together after Ramey finished her Vacation Bible School activities at First Baptist Church Monday afternoon. Ramey said she liked the tator-tots the best but thought the entire lunch was really good.
John Thomas Clark smiles broadly as he enjoys his lunch at Liberty Park Monday afternoon. The summer lunch program is provided by Open Door Benevolent Ministries and serves lunches at various sites throughout Pettis County to children 18 and younger. Local volunteer agencies serve the lunches at the sites. Volunteers from First Christian Church facilitate the program at Liberty Park.
Shane Clark, a student at Smith-Cotton Junior High, places a packet of mayonnaise on his hot ham-and-cheese sandwich, part of the Open Door lunch that was provided to area youth Monday. Each day the program provides hot meals to children 18 and under who visit one of the meal sites. Open Door also provides breakfast and lunches to students enrolled in the Sedalia School District 200 summer school program.
Charles Boone, 10, prepares to eat his tator-tots Monday at the main shelter house at Liberty Park. Boone, who said he came to the park last year occasionally, said he plans to return several times this year to eat lunch in the park with his friends. He added that he really likes that he can have a cooked meal at lunch, especially when they serve hamburgers.
After a little coaxing from his family and friends, Shawn Bailey sat down to eat his lunch at Liberty Park Monday afternoon. Bailey said at first he wanted to play rather than eat, but eventually finished his hot ham-and-cheese sandwich, tator-tots, pears and milk. JoDee Buso, facilitator from First Christian Church for the summer lunch program at Liberty Park, said they served an average of 20 lunches each day last week, which was the first week for the program.
Natalie Clark opens her milk carton before starting to eat her lunch Monday at Liberty Park as part of the Open Door Lunch Program. Children 18 and under throughout Pettis County can receive a free lunch through the program Monday through Friday at most site locations. JoDee Buso, facilitator from First Christian Church for the summer lunch program at Liberty Park, said many of the children who attended during the first week of the program also came last year. “We spend time with them and get to know them through the summer,” Buso said. On Wednesday afternoons, First Christian Church will host a craft activity led by Sheri Webb for the students.