Pre-registration is open for McPherson's summer lunch program.

Pre-registration is open for McPherson's summer lunch program.
Though not required, pre-registration helps program organizers assess the program's demand and plan accordingly. In addition to services provided in the past, organizers are working on a plan to provide hot meals to participants.
“Nothing is set yet,” said Becky Goss, president and CEO of the McPherson Community Foundation. “If we're accepted, and we anticipate we will be, we'll get reimbursed for lunches we provide.”
This reimbursement would come through the United States Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Department of Education. Local funding is still needed for snacks that go home with participants.
The summer lunch program has experienced funding problems in the past. Goss said the program cost between $17,000 and $18,000 for its average 225 participants. Partnering with USDA and the Department of Education should help, but donations are still needed to provide food for children who need it.
The summer lunch program is open to children up to 18 years old. If all goes as planned, the program will include a hot meal Monday through Thursday, with take-home snacks Thursday for the weekend.
The program also includes activities sponsored by the McPherson Public Library, McPherson YMCA and local 4-H groups. The program is free to participants.
This year, the program will be at two locations, Roosevelt Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School. Anne Kirchner, executive director of United Way of McPherson County, said bicycles are available for those who need transportation to and from the schools.
“Everyone is welcome to join at any time,” Goss said. “They can come for a week and see if they like it. You don't have to register to attend. That just helps us plan ahead.”
Those interested in helping with the program, including volunteering time, can contact the McPherson County Community Foundation or United Way of McPherson County.