Area organizations team up to provide meals for kids

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — A local business is partnering with a community organization to feed children in the community.

Just A Taste Webb City and Joplin Empire Market are starting a new program called Free Market Meals for Kids.

With food insecurity being a growing issue locally during the pandemic, the owner of just a taste wanted to do something to help.

So, organizers thought the Empire Market would be a great avenue to distribute meals.

This covid-19 relief program is a way to provide free meals to kids whose families may be struggling in these uncertain times.

Christopher Koval, Tasting Associate/ Market Meals Organizer, said, “Right now, there’s kind of a lack of hope. In our community and just everywhere, you know and so if anybody needs hope right now, it’s the kids.”

Stephanie Thomasma, General Manager, Just A Taste, said, “We wanted to kind of have this be something that could take off the table any concerns about access to food if there were parents that were on the fence because they knew that sending their kids back to school would mean that they’d have the use of the free kids meal program through the school. We wanted to be able to offer an alternative in case they were concerned about the health risks of that.”

Koval and Thomasma say they hope this will encourage others businesses to step up and sponsor meals as well and help the program to grow.

You can reserve free to-go meals online to be picked up Saturday, August 15th, at Joplin Empire Market.

Meals are limited to 50, but there will be a few extra meals on-site for those unable to register.

When you reserve, click the “pay later” tab at checkout.

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