HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- A Huntersville soup kitchen will serve more kids lunch this summer than ever before.
Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen reaches out to students who normally receive free and reduced lunch when school is in session.
Volunteers will hand out 1,200 bagged lunches a week this summer. The summer lunch bag program started three years ago and back then they handed out about 7,000 lunches.
The program began when Sandy Tilley, Executive Director of the soup kitchen, realized many kids can't find a healthy lunch during summer break.
"There's several neighborhoods around here that are in dire straits. I mean dire straits," said Tilley.
The free lunches start the week after the end of the school year. Volunteers pack brown bags Monday through Thursday.
The lunches are delivered to specific communities Tuesday through Friday. Tilley blames the economy for the increased need.
"The ones that can work, can't get jobs. And when they do, they don't get paid enough to live, to feed their family." The soup kitchen can't do it alone.
According to Tilley, "we need individually packed things like fruit cups and pudding cups and fruit roll ups and cereal bars and protein bars."
It's a donation that won't go unnoticed.
"People say thank you so much, you saved my life, my children wouldn't have had anything to eat, if you hadn't done this."
Donations can be dropped off at Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen.