The Breakfast Bunch
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Left to right, Jessica Tauber, Piper Fehr, Lynn Haab, director of The Breakfast Bunch, Kryslyn Fehr, Olivia Handwerk, Stephanie Handwerk and A.J. Tauber do a little socializing as the children enjoy a free breakfast at St. John's Lutheran Church in Slatington.
To Lynn Haab and St. John's Lutheran Church in Slatington volunteers, the concept of offering a free breakfast to the community is simple.
"The Bible says in Matthew 22 verse 38-39, 'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself,'" says Lynn, wife of the Rev. Russell Haab, pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church.
But it was as her role of teacher at Northern Lehigh Middle School that she saw the need for such a program in her community.
"Kids are given free breakfasts and lunches at school or at reduced fees. It's an economic stress then for families during the summer months to feed their kids. I saw this gap, this need, and brought it to the notice of our church," she says.
The Breakfast Bunch began three summers ago with a two-week program. This summer it began July 5 and will run until Aug. 5.
Children between the ages of 2-17 within the Northern Lehigh School District, may receive a free breakfast on Mondays-Fridays from 8:30-10 a.m. in the church's social hall, located at 40 2nd St. in Slatington. Parents of the children will be served after the children's needs have been met. When the child leaves, they can take a bag lunch for later.
These meals are sponsored by the Northern Lehigh Pastoral Association, made up of various churches within the Northern Lehigh area.
"We receive financial support from the local churches and organizations as well as from individuals," says Lynn, director of the program.
Typically the breakfasts are made up of pancakes, eggs, French toast, cereals, bagels, fresh fruit, juices and beverages.
Lynn says they serve an average of 30 people a day.
One mother is extremely grateful for the program.
"This is a big help. We're a single income family with four kids. Money doesn't go as far as it use to," says Leslie Fehr of Slatington. "The kids can come here, get a good meal and socialize. Everyone's so nice here."
Leslie brings the children for breakfast and they all get a bag lunch.
"We go out and have picnics at the park or they enjoy them while watching a movie at home. We come every day," says Leslie.
Margaret Blose, a member of St. John's and a volunteer says she was an aide at Peters Elementary School.
"I saw the need there for the breakfast and we got talking here at St. John's about how could we outreach to the community because of that need and we started the free breakfast program," says Margaret.
Piper Fehr, 9, loves the program.
"There's lots of free food and all the helpers are real nice and they give us lollipops," she says.
"I like that it helps my family a lot, going from having nothing in the house to having something good to eat for breakfast and lunch," says Kryslyn Fehr, 12.
Lynn says they are only doing what Jesus asks us to do.
"In Matthew 25 verse 40 it says, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.'"
"This is the mission of this program."