Community meal is a success in Greenville


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:09 am on Friday, January 04, 2013

St. Charles Catholic Church and Our Lady of Consolation in Rockford donated groceries so every family can leave the lunch with a bag of groceries to take home. About 330 bags of groceries were donated. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

GREENVILLE —Although the Greenville community meal had fewer people than expected, the event still served its purpose of helping those who go without during the holidays.

The meal began three years ago when Greenville Public Schools Director of Student Services Linda Van Houten had a family approach about getting meals for children, who – at the time – received free breakfast and lunch at school, when school was not in session.

In 2011, the community meal served about 150 people who needed a good meal during the holiday season.

“(This year) we had about 85 – lower than expected,” Van Houten said. “But, I was still really pleased with the turnout.”

Many volunteers, such as alumni, churches, students and more, volunteered their time and resources to help make the event successful.

“I continue to be so thankful for all the volunteers and the many, many people that donated to the meal,” Van Houten said. “It amazes me how our community and the school staff always step up to the challenge.”

Not only did people and their families receive a satisfying meal, groceries also were sent home with people who attended the meal to help get them through a couple of days.

“Overall, I was very happy with the meal as it went really smoothly and I think we were able to help some families in our community,” Van Houten said.

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