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Tapestry UMC gives $2,000 to local school to pay off cafeteria costs
May 11, 2017
Photo and story submitted by the Rev. Pat Bell
Tapestry United Methodist Church, Parker, Colorado
This year’s Mile High Pikes Peak District Conference designated new church-start Tapestry United Methodist Church as the recipient of the offering from their worship service. Almost $1,300 was given to Tapestry UMC to use to make an impact in their local community of Parker/Lone Tree, Colorado.
While Parker is typically regarded as an affluent area there is a surprising amount of need; however, most of it is hidden. Tapestry held a brainstorming meeting that focused on how the money could be best utilized in Parker, and a noticeable trend arose: We wanted specifically to help vulnerable children in the area.
After some investigating, Tapestry discovered that in one of the local elementary schools, there was a surprising number of students who were either a part of the school’s free or reduced cost lunch program or who would qualify if their families applied. Additionally, in spite of the free or reduced cost lunch program, over 150 children were unable to keep up with the cost of the meals – 34 of which were carrying balances of $50 or more. At a program cost of 40 cents per lunch, that equates to at least six months of lunches per child! Knowing that this situation could eventually lead to kids going hungry during the school days, Tapestry knew they had found their cause.
On May 8, using the funds from the district along with funds from a matching pledge from a church member, Tapestry presented Pine Lane Elementary School with a check for $2,000 to pay off or subsidize the cafeteria accounts of almost all of the children who were most in need. Tapestry also intends to keep in contact with the school and with their on-site social worker so they might help with similar situations that arise in the future.
Pastor Pat Bell and all the people of Tapestry encourage our Rocky Mountain Conference churches to contact your local schools now to discover if there is a similar need in your area. There is no telling what these kids might grow up to do if they can focus today on learning instead of hunger.