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When staff members and volunteers with Food Finders Food Bank pull up to the curb at Claystone at the Crossing each weekday to set up their summer feeding program, children are eagerly waiting.

The summer food assistance program — an extension of the free and reduced lunch program carried out by schools during the academic year — provides one free meal a day and a backpack of weekend food for low-income students ages 2 to 15 in the summer months.

“They see us and come running out to the van,” said Alli Turrell, site coordinator for Food Finders. “They want to set up, they want to help us shut down. They want to carry things for us, play with us. For a lot of them this is the only thing they have to look forward to all day.”

Up to 60 students regularly show up for the program at Claystone, a Section 8 apartment complex that is home to many food-insecure and low-income families.

But ask Food Finders if this program is returning next year for a sixth year of operation at Claystone and the answer is: Possibly not.

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