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Volunteer sandwich makers were, from left, Karla Ziegler, Janey Ziegler, Janet Haeg, and Chase Larson. Photo by Sarah Rudlang

Operation Sandwich under way in Pequot Lakes

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What are kids in the community eating during the summer months when food is not always available?

Their options are expanded now through Operation Sandwich, a grassroots program created to end child hunger by providing kids with meals through the summer, when free and reduced school meals are not available.

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The program began Monday, June 9, and will continue until Aug. 28. Three times a week - Monday, Tuesday and Thursday - meals will be delivered to Sibley Lake Park and Breezy Point City Park from 12-12:30 p.m. The meals are made at Pequot Lakes Baptist Church and consist of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and granola bars. Thursday's bag will contain a few more items for the weekend.

Currently, there are 188 Pequot Lakes School District students on the reduced breakfast/lunch program, and 385 students on the free breakfast/lunch program. These numbers amount to 35.7 percent of the total school population.

Anyone is welcome to receive meals through Operation Sandwich. There are no income requirements, no names collected and it is free to the community.

"If you are in need, please come. No verification is needed and we will serve you with a smile," said Clint Evans, director of youth activities at Grace United Methodist Church in Pequot Lakes.

Operation Sandwich is made possible through the support of the United Way and the community. It is volunteer-based and relies on donations and help of community members of all ages to help make and deliver the sandwiches.

Community members are encouraged to drop off food items (bread, peanut butter, jelly, fruit and granola bars) at The Dollar General in Pequot Lakes. If anyone is interested in volunteering with Operation Sandwich, they are encouraged to check out its Facebook page or visit operationsandwichcwc.org.

Email operationsandwichcwc@gmail.com with any questions. To make a tax-deductible donation to support this program, send checks payable to "Operation Sandwich," c/o United Way, P.O. Box 381, Brainerd, MN 56401.

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