NewsPay It Forward


Nonprofit provides free weekend meals for students in Walker

Posted at 9:30 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 08:32:40-04

WALKER, Mich. -- A nonprofit organization in Walker is working to make sure no student in their city goes hungry on the weekends.

"My hope would be there’s no child left behind in Walker, that’s hungry. I know we still have a ways to go," Feeding Walker Kids President Julie Wilson, said.

Five years ago, former school bus driver Julie Wilson saw a need.

"I saw a need for kids in the community that seemed to be going home on the weekends and we picked them up on Monday mornings they appeared to be a little hungry. So checking into that and realizing that it was more of a need than we first anticipated," Wilson, explained.

It started with one school and 60 kids, now it's more than 400 students in Walker who are taking home healthy food on the weekends.

"The program has grown tremendously over the past five years and now we are in all the schools of Walker with the exception of one," Wilson, added.

Nearly 47% of students in Walker qualify for free or reduced school lunch.

Thanks to help from volunteers with the organization and Remembrance Church, those students now get free meals on the weekends too.

"I've been principal for 8 years at Zinser Elementary and I’ve seen the free or reduced population growing within in our families, struggling to put food on the table, so for [students] to be able to leave on Friday with some healthy food for the weekend it helps meet those basic needs.  We sometimes forget what these kids and families are struggling with," Zinser Elementary School President Ross Willick, said.

The organization is run completely on donation and they need support to keep Feeding Walker Kids.

"It's about helping these kids break the cycle of poverty and really to have the most positive impact at school as they can," Willick, added.

Click here for more on how you can donate to the organization or how you can sign up your child for the service.