Camas Friends Church offers free summer lunches

Meals available from 11:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, through Aug. 9

The Camas Friends Church, at Northeast Fourth Avenue and Northeast Ione Street in downtown Camas, will offer a free summer lunch program for families with children from 11:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, through Aug. 9.

Camas Friends Church Pastor Matt Boswell (left) and volunteer Judy Kaye count and sort lunches for the church’s free summer lunch program on Monday, June 24.

Camas area children and families in need of a free, healthy lunch during the weekdays this summer can head to the Camas Friends Church at 1004 N.E. Fourth Ave.

The church will offer the free lunches from 11:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, through Aug. 9.

The Camas site is part of the summer meals program coordinated by Share, a Vancouver organization dedicated to caring for the hungry and homeless in the greater Vancouver area.

Share operates a summer meals program for low-income children and a backpack program that provides food for weekends to children receiving free or reduced-fee lunches.

Camas Friends pastor Matt Boswell said the program is open to any child or family with children who need a healthy lunch during the summer.

“We recognize the challenge that summer brings to children who depend on free or reduced-price lunches during the school year,” the church states in its literature about the summer lunch program. “We want to play a simple, modest part in helping alleviate this additional burden on families.”

The lunches must be eaten onsite, so visitors are asked to arrive as close to 11:30 a.m. as possible.

The lunches include a grain and protein, usually in the form of a sandwich with meat in it, a fruit, a vegetable and a carton of milk. Boswell has ordered a few gluten-free meals and said vegetarian meals are available with advance notice.

The Camas Friends Church also offers a food pantry throughout the summer and lunch program guests can access the pantry if they are in need of additional food for their homes.

The church needs volunteers to help serve the meals at 11:30 a.m. on weekdays, as well as to pick the meals up from Vancouver. Pick-up volunteers would need to stop at the Camas church first to pick up the previous day’s cooler, and then pick up that day’s meals at Covington Middle School in Vancouver and deliver it back to the Camas church by 11 a.m.

Donations for the food pantry and to provide extra “goodies” to the lunch program families — Boswell said things like Subway sandwich vouchers, books, healthy sealed snacks and “anything eco-friendly” would be appreciated.

To donate to the pantry or summer lunch program, email office@camasfriends.org.

The summer lunch program is located in the church’s downstairs “Fireside Room,” which is accessible from Northeast Ione Street.

For more information, visit camas friends.org.