Economist Milton Friedman once said, "There's no such thing as a free lunch."

He's apparently wrong.

Students in the Lehighton Area School District can enjoy free lunches daily – Monday through Friday – at Zion United Church of Christ in Lehighton.

Kenneth Leffler, office manager at the church, said this is the second year for the lunch service, which will run through Aug. 26.

There are no income qualifications for participation. Any student in the Lehighton Area School District can enjoy a lunch.

He said attendance has doubled from last year. This year, on average, 25 to 30 students are taking advantage.

On Wednesday, the student program coincides with a lunch program for adults. Last Wednesday the volunteers operating the program served 40 adults and 62 children.

"We're pleased with the turnout," Leffler said. "We're glad we can offer it."

The program is reimbursed by the state.

Operating it are about a dozen to 15 church volunteers and students from the Lehighton Area High School Red Cross Club, working on a rotating basis.

Leffler said he has seen students of all ages take part, from elementary to high school. He said he feels most of the attendees are elementary and middle school students.