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Serving up a free lunch for Boise High Students
Every Wednesday, the lunch ladies at Capital Christian Church cook up a meal for their neighbors. It just so happens that their neighbors are the students at Boise High School. Their lunches are free and hot and students are welcome to eat as much as they want.
During one such Wednesday lunch we met Daniel. He told us, “The lunch is good! And they’re really, really nice.” Another student, Sam, said, “It's definitely a bright spot in my week." And Riley explained, “I know that not everyone has a lot of money so it's really great for students I know that may not get a hot lunch to come in and get a hot lunch for sure."
The lunch started over a decade ago with just one student. Now they average more than 100 students on any given Wednesday during the school year.
What’s more, the lunch ladies are no longer just ladies. Men also volunteer including Corky Brown, a retired chef and culinary arts instructor who now runs the kitchen. He joked, “She latched on to me and said, 'have I got a deal for you!’ Well, this was the deal!" “She” is Carole Stone, the volunteer coordinator. Carole appreciates having someone of Corky’s skills in the kitchen. "It is a lot of work,” she explained. “You know if you ask him how many hours he puts in, I would venture to say at least 20 (per week). He does a lot of work."
And yet, Corky and the other volunteers say it's worth it. “I look forward to it,” said Carole. “Now there are times when I get tired. I'll be totally honest, you do. But when you see their faces and they're happy and they say thank you and you say it's our pleasure and it lifts you up. It lifts you farther than any cloud. You've heard of people being on cloud 9? I'm way up there. I'm past that. I just really enjoy it."
Tim Toy with Mountain America Credit Union paid it forward to Carole and the lunch ladies with $500 cash, explaining, "It is a blessing and you guys are making it happen. It's a blessing every Wednesday for these kids."
The lunch ladies depend on donations to keep serving up the meals that keep students coming back for seconds.