When kids don’t have access to school meals, one local couple steps in to feed and entertain.

Silencing the Growl

Give the gift of health and make a lasting difference.

United Way helps deliver summer meals and fun

What inspires someone to feed hundreds of children each day? For Lisa and Earnest Saunders, all it took was one 14-year old boy. A boy they didn’t even know.

Five years ago, Lisa says, the boy broke into a neighboring donut shop three weekends in a row. Security footage showed it was the same boy each time. And all he did was eat.

“He was hungry,” Lisa said. “It was 2 am and all he did was eat. That brought me to trying to do something for the community here. I wanted to embrace as many kids as I can.”

Today, the Saunders run Neighborhood Project Ministry, a summer food service and after-school enrichment program funded in part by United Way.

“We serve 600 meals per day at 17 different locations,” Lisa said, “all across Balch Springs, Seagoville, Garland and Dallas.”

Currently, the organization is one of the largest providers of summer meals in North Texas. Last summer, they served over 600,000 meals.

“When I was a kid, I was fed the same way,” says Earnest. “To do for them what was done for me is very rewarding.”

In North Texas, 300,000 kids who depend on school meals are at risk of going hungry in summer. So Neighborhood Project Ministry helps pick up the slack to ensure they always have something free, healthy and nutritious to eat.

The families who benefit from these efforts are just a few of those reaching their full potential with the help of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, thanks to programs that focus on education, income and health—the building blocks of a thriving community.

“There’s a lot of hungry kids out there,” said Earnest. “So we do the best that we can to help the parents feed them.”

To do your part in helping families and children in North Texas, donate below.

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