The Human Services Ministry at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in New Smyrna Beach has been serving those in need for more than 20 years. Most recently, close to 70 volunteers spent a few hours packing 3,500 pounds of lunch snacks for children in five elementary schools throughout the county. The program, called Hi-5, provides a snack of milk, macaroni and cheese and other items for students who are at risk of suffering hunger over the weekends when free school lunches are not available.
The meals packed will sustain the children for weekends from the end of January though the conclusion of the school year. Children in this program must qualify for free or reduced lunch. Approximately 70 percent of the children in Volusia County fall under this category.
Leslie Woz and her husband have been a part of the ministry for the past eight years. “We got involved when we heard the statistics,” said Woz. “There’s an elementary school near where we live. We heard there were quire a large number at that school that were of families that didn’t have enough money to put food on the table, we were frankly so taken aback and shocked we felt we had to do something to help.”
Woz added, “Being able to pack the lunches brought it to home, that these lunch packs will be put in their backpacks and will help them not be hungry, and they’ll be alert enough to learn. This is the least we could do.”