Posted at: 06/20/2012 4:32 PM
| Updated at: 06/20/2012 5:49 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
Photo: Lou Swierzowski
SARATOGA SPRINGS - It was the last day of school until September and they were jumping for joy. Lake Avenue Elementary School students celebrated their rite of passage Wednesday afternoon. But some worry that their cheers can turn into pangs of hunger.
For some young people, no school means no school lunch.
"People forget that there are mouths to feed in the summer when kids are off from school. So families that rely on free lunch programs, now they have kids they have to feed," said Bo Goliber, coordinator of development for Franklin Community Center.
Some impoverished families count on schools to provide both lunch and breakfast, five days a week.
When classes end, those meals do too . And the Franklin Community Center's food pantry becomes even more popular.
"That's why we try to give them a couple meals to get them through a few days at home," said Goliber.
The help is invaluable says Diane Bennett. The single mother is back to work now, but found herself unemployed last year and struggling to feed her daughter. The Franklin Community Center provided their lifeline.
"It's just nice to know there are people out there to help you when you need it," said Bennett during a break at the Albany law firm where she now works.
And for those who think of Saratogians only as people with full stomachs and fat bank accounts, think again says Jo Rosser, a one-time client at the center who now volunteers there.
"I can show them to several alleys where they can see cast-off mattresses that have been used by people camping out in the streets of Saratoga," said Rosser.
The Franklin Community Center's food pantry is unique in that it's open Monday through Friday. As summer begins they expect demand to rise immediately and they're already low or out of, many things, especially kid-friendly foods.