Ending Child Hunger—One Lunch At A Time
It’s been two years since the launch of our Community Heroes grant program. And in that time, we’ve had the pleasure of supporting eight – and counting – local organizations in their quest to empower and uplift the communities where they live and work.
For a deeper look into who these organizations are, this blog series will focus on the inspirational stories behind some of the 2018 and 2019 Gexa Community Heroes grant winners and their invaluable contributions in and around the local community.
When you’re a kid, you worry about the little things. Like when you’ll grow taller or when you’ll lose that last baby tooth. But no child should have to worry about when they’ll be eating their next meal. That’s why Adriane Gray created Lunches of Love.
Lunches of Love is a nonprofit organization in Rosenberg, Texas, that feeds children in need. “We are 100% committed to ending child hunger in our backyard,” Adriane says. “There are so many kids in our community who don’t have enough to eat every day. We are there to help fill in the gap.” Staffed solely by volunteers, Lunches of Love feeds thousands of children, serving nutritious lunches Monday through Friday during extended school holidays (spring break, summer, and Christmas break) and weekends.
The idea for Lunches of Love first arose in a discussion during Adriane’s ministry group back in December of 2009. Partnered with several teachers for a group activity, she learned that many of the kids they taught at Title I schools were living at or below the poverty line—and missing out on meals as a result. “The stories that these ladies were telling … I just kept thinking that this couldn’t be happening in our community,” Adriane says. But it was.
The discussion inspired her to take the issue to her church, which helped her get the program off the ground. They started with six volunteers and one school. Today, the organization has more than 100 volunteers and feeds children at schools all over Fort Bend County. “It takes about 110 people to make the program work,” Adriane says. “And we’ve been so blessed with volunteers. People always walk away so fulfilled, so happy to have helped out.”
When Gexa reached out to customers about the Community Heroes grant, Adriane’s inbox overflowed with messages. And she couldn’t have been more thrilled that her organization won—immediately putting the $500 grant toward lunch supplies. At 75 cents per lunch, that money made 667 lunches for hungry children.
And Adriane expects Lunches of Love will only grow over time. “We’re actually getting a new building soon,” she says. “When you go from 150 lunches to 4,000 every day, you take up a lot of room. We’re super excited because it is a necessary step for this vital program.” The building will also allow for children to eat inside—providing, for the first time, an air-conditioned atmosphere in which they can enjoy their meals.
“Everybody can make a lunch,” Adriane says. “It’s a simple process. But it takes money and organization.” And with those two assets on her side, she knows Lunches of Love will continue to grow and ensure the children of Fort Bend County will have something to eat every single day.
To learn more about Lunches of Love, visit http://lunchesoflove.net