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Longview church partnering with local school districts for meal program

New Beginnings Baptist Church in Longview is teaming up with Gilmer, Spring Hill, and Pinetree ISD’s to make sure students who depend on school lunch are still fed.

LONGVIEW, Texas — As families of school children push through another week without classes, communities across the country are doing their part to ensure kids who rely on school lunches are still fed each day. 

New Beginning’s Baptist Church in Longview is partnering with Gilmer, Pinetree and Spring Hill Independent School Districts to fill that void left by the absence of daily school lunches.

“We believe that our goal here as a church is to bring hope and help in times of crisis," New Beginnings Pastor Todd Konitz said. "And so this is just one of the ways that we can help people experience a little bit of hope when they're in need."

Konitz says when his church noticed a need in the community during this time of social distancing, they decided to step up.

“A number of students come every day to school and they depend upon that [school lunch] to eat," Konitz said. "And many of them take home food on the weekends. And so we are providing the meals for their families that they would be missing while school is out.” 

New Beginnings is collecting food donations and partnering with their school district partners to bring care packages to families in need.

“We’ve asked people to bring donations, we've got a list of items on our website, and we've set up operations here so that our volunteers can come in and they can take boxes and put those together. And then obviously, we'll have teams that go and distribute those boxes to the families," Konitz said. "We are serving currently a little over 200 families a week and so as food items come in, we're able to put these box boxes together, and then and then distribute those."

Konitz says this act of charity is not only a way to help people with a tangible need, but also a way to say thank you to the school districts.

“Many of these kids depend on the school district to eat and so for us to be able to step in to this work and just help shoulder that burden with them, it's just a way for us to serve the local school districts," Konitz said. "But also, I think it's important to remember that there's a lot of families that are in need. And in crisis like this, we want to make sure that we're able to provide that care for them, and make sure that those needs are met."

Information on how to donate and serve is on New Beginnings’ website.