A local church is offering a new program for the summer.

Shekinah Tabernacle Ministries (STM) is sponsoring the first ever High 5 Community Development Corporation Summer Food Service Program.

Every weekday from June 4 through August 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. volunteers will serve a free lunch to the community.

Bishop Willie Curry and wife Pastor Margaret Curry are passionate about the program.

Bishop Curry said, “This is our first year doing this. The blessing with this is that the state reached out to us. The daycare—STM Christian Daycare Preschool Academy—is part of the CACFP which is the food program through the state. There’s not another organization in Pulaski County that’s doing this. Snack in a Pack is not available during the summer months. When summer school is over with, there’s no where for a lot of kids to eat, so we took on the task.”

Bishop Curry said, “We converted the sanctuary into a cafeteria Monday through Friday for the Summer Food Service Program that’s ran by the state of Missouri Health and Senior Services as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We just want to be able to provide a free meal to kids and adults, but mainly kids ages one to 18.”

Pastor Curry said, “We just want to serve the community and we always say, ‘Whatever the need is, we’ll provide with the vision of Doctor Curry here,’” She motioned to her husband. “He has such a heart because a lot of people won’t tear their sanctuary down and make it a cafeteria.” They chuckled.

They both noted that STM will provide transportation for the kids as well.

Bishop Curry said, “High 5 stimulates growth within the city of St. Robert and stimulates a form of citizenship within St. Robert. In the past we have done financial management classes. We’ve had carnivals, as well, that help support the city in creating growth, bringing a positive outlook on the city, as well as, allowing the citizens of St. Robert to know that there is an organization that’s willing to outreach back into the community.”

“We also take care of any citizen in the community that desires to have a meal,” Bishop Curry said. “It’s not based off of economics, not based off of social classes. It’s our way of showing the community that we appreciate what they bring to the community as far as helping to generate life and a sense of belonging.”

Pastor Curry said, “We have beautiful people that come and volunteer. A lot of them are church members. The soldier that is volunteering is using her lunchtime to volunteer. We have some daycare workers that volunteer on lunchtime. We also have some retired people that volunteer for the whole day with the set up to breaking it down.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services also sponsor this event.

STM is located on Old Route 66 in St. Robert.