Free meal program serves local children
By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 23, 2007 1:45 PM
Wayne County children and adults who might otherwise go hungry can find a place for lunch through a joint private-government partnership.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and Kennie Jones Ministries have formed the Youth World Outreach Program, which provides healthy meals at 21 different sites around the area at churches, schools and clubs, including the Goldsboro YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club in Mount Olive. The program also delivers food to Sampson County and Lenoir County, but most of the catering services are provided in Wayne County.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is prepared and served on weekdays throughout the summer. Both children and adults can benefit from the meals -- children under 18 are free, and the price for adults is $1.50. The program is open to any race, religion and income level in need of nutritional assistance.
Connie Jones, wife of Pastor Kennie Jones, started the program last year with only three sites. This year, she started with eight sites, and the program has grown ever since.
The program is regulated by the USDA, and Mrs. Jones said the department visits frequently to ensure the food served is healthy and nutritious.
Mrs. Jones wanted to do something for the children through the ministries.
"I taught school for 31 years, but I wanted to do something outside of the school system," she said. "Anywhere there is a group of children, we will cater the food to them. God put this in my heart, and we thank God every day for his help in this."
Kennie Jones Ministries, otherwise known as KJM and operating out of New Bern, was established in 1998 first as a tape ministry, recording gospel services to distribute to the public. KJM has appeared on the radio and several television stations. Now online for a little over a year, KJM's goal is to provide religious messages to as many people as possible.
"I think what they are doing is a wonderful thing," said Linda Holmes, who helps with the outreach program.
Kennie Jones Ministries can be reached at P.O. Box 485, Mount Olive, NC 28365.
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