Nearly 400 people attended the inaugural Mission March on Divine Mercy Sunday at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Leawood. The family walk/run raised more than $65,000 for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ Kids Summer Food Program, which provides sack lunches to hungry children throughout the Archdiocese. The first-time event was organized by the 2016 Class of Distinguished
Student Leaders, a service-focused group comprised of 40 high school students representing six area schools. Like many of his friends, the group’s founder, William Henry, couldn’t imagine not having lunch during the summer months. When he heard that over 185,000 children in Kansas qualify for free or reduced lunches during the school year, but only seven percent have access to a summer lunch program, he knew something had to be done. “Thanks to these teen’s efforts, hundreds of children who receive a nutritious lunch during the school year, will now be assured of having an equally nutritious lunch during the summer,” says Ken Williams, CEO, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. Catholic Charities launched the Kids Summer Food Program last summer in partnership with Harvesters, USDA and The Kansas Department of Education. Nearly 5,000 free sack lunches were distributed to youth at 11, mostly rural, sites. This year, Catholic Charities aims to reach even more children in need by increasing the number of food sites and doubling the number of lunches served.