Lunch for homeless teens

St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Olympia, Washington is offering free lunches everyday to homeless teens in the capitol city. During Christmas vacation teens who live on the streets or bunk in with friends don’t have the school lunch program for a daily meal. Deacon Zula Johnston says the teens do not want to ask for food from those who help them during the year.

“There are high-schoolers out there who, when school is closed, they’re not able to get anything to eat. So we’re going to try to fill that gap,” she said.

She got the idea after meeting with Debby Gaffney, a liaison to homeless children in North Thurston Public Schools.

Gaffney said winter break can be a challenge for the district’s homeless and “couch surfer” teens who live with friends and don’t like to burden their hosts for food.

In 2006, there were 97 homeless high school students and 24 homeless middle school students in the district, Gaffney said. She said circumstances vary for each student — some have run away to escape domestic violence or substance abuse at home; others might have been kicked out at 18 or might have stayed in Lacey when parents moved to another city or state.

Read it all here.

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