Many Kennedy students look forward to lunch time every Tuesday when they can walk over to Lovely Lane United Methodist Church on 42nd Street for a delicious meal. Recently, Lovely Lane announced it will stop serving lunches to students — at least during the month of November.
More than 400 students started attending the lunch, nearly double the students than in previous years.
Pastor Paul Wilcox says they are taking a break from serving lunches until December or January. “We need to figure out how we can serve so many people. It’s stretching our building, our volunteers and our financial resources.”
The church asks for a small donation in exchange for their hospitalities. However, many students do not donate.
“Whenever I go there, there’s only a few people who give money for it so I can see why they’re running out of money so quickly,” Hunter Schoenauer, so., said.
It costs about $2 per person to fund the lunch. “That’s over $800 when we feed 425 hungry youth,” Wilcox said. “We need your help to keep our program going.”
This costs Lovely Lane over $28,000 during the school year.
Also, as the school district’s lunch nutritional requirements changed to fit federal regulations, students use Lovely Lane as a protest tbecause they are unhappy with the new regulations. In the school cafeteria, they don’t like paying extra for seconds, having to take fruit and veggies with their meals, and having no desserts.
“We just need to get out of the middle of this conflict,” Wilcox said.
He said the mission of the lunches is to provide a place were students can get away for a while into a more spiritual, conversational environment.
“We want students to experience God’s love and our love, too, in the middle of their Tuesdays,” Wilcox said.
Students simply want lunch back at Lovely Lane.
“I think their lunches are really good and most people would agree with me,” Schoenauer said.