Lufkin family grateful for meal program

Lynn Ryan is a regular at the Christian Information Service Center Food Bank in Lufkin. She typically stops by once a month. However, this summer she said she will be stopping by more frequently.

"I raise five grandkids all the time, and during the summer, I raise seven to eight grandkids," Ryan said.

The extra mouths have put a strain on Ryan's pocketbook, but she said she won't let this stop her from cooking for her grandkids. Ryan recently signed up for the 21-day meal program. Her grandson Christopher Hendrix said he just loves his grandma and her home cooking.

"She makes me fried eggs and chicken," Hendrix said.

"We have a garden. Our tomatoes won't grow, but in the summer time, I like for them to eat fresh stuff," Ryan said.

The program, which was started last year, is geared to lending a helping hand to families that are struggling to feed their kids three meals a day during the summer. Kathy Loftin, who works with the food bank, said you would be surprised by how many families depend on school breakfast and lunch programs.

"We are trying to help these families until the kids go back to school,"  Loftin said.

On Wednesday, Ryan received three bags per kid, which will typically last her a week. Each bag weighs approximately 3 pounds. As far as what is inside, Loftin said it's a variety of things such as cereal, water, and fruit cups

According to Feeding America, the hunger rate for Angelina County sits at 19.1 percent, which is higher than the state average. Of this percentage, approximately go to sleep on an empty stomach. The program hopes to feed at least 1300 kids or more this summer.

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