Topeka elementary schools use new program to provide weekend meals to students

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A new program at a central Topeka elementary school is providing free lunches for students on the weekend.

The principal at Lowman Hill Elementary School said they found out students have left schools on Friday not knowing if they would get a meal until Monday at school.

Previously, they were only able to help 20 students. But now with the help of Project Topeka, they are able to help nearly 600 students.

Scores of parents and kids spent their Monday evening volunteering at Lowman Hill Elementary with Project Topeka packing lunches for 560 students to take home on Friday.

Students that attend both Lowman Hill and Randolph Elementary in Topeka will get one of these bags.

“We bring them to school so they can thrive and they can’t do that if they are hungry,” Melissa Wells-Martin, Lowman Hill Principal, said.

For years Principal Melissa Wells-Martin said the program the school had could only help 20 students needing food over the weekend but deep down she always knew more students needed the help.

Then Project Topeka extended an offer to help Lowman Hill. They had already been helping Randolph Elementary, with great results.

In the bags, students get name brand food, so it is something they can be excited to eat.

The bags are always packed by volunteers, this week, workers and families from Advisors Excel.

Brie Parks brings her daughters as a way to instill in them the importance of sacrificing your time to help others.

“I just feel so fortunate to have the things that I have that if I can give back to other people I will. And we want to pass that down to them so they help me all the time volunteer for different things,” Parks said.

A spokesman for Project Topeka said it will cost them around $80,000 to provide all these lunches this year, and they are always accepting donations.

To find out more information and how to donate, click here.

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