Project Lunchbox and Aaron’s Kids received a leg up Friday when Jemez Mountain Trail Runs donated $500 to each organization to help feed hungry Los Alamos students.
For two years Aaron’s Kids, a program operated through the First United Methodist Church in Los Alamos, has provided meals at Los Alamos High School, Los Alamos Middle School, the Teen Center and the Youth Activity Centers. In January, Project Lunchbox was organized by the Unitarian Church to take over meal delivery to LAMS, allowing Aaron’s Kids to concentrate on the other locations. Los Alamos elementary schools offer a lunch program.
Aaron’s Kids is named for runner and youth advocate Aaron Goldman. Goldman founded the Jemez Mountain Trail Runs nine years ago. When the race committee read about Aaron’s Kids in the Los Alamos Daily Post, they decided to make contributions to the two organizations in honor of their race founder, race committee member Margie Stockton said.
Last year Jemez Mountain Trail Runs raised $17,000 for worthy causes. This year’s race is May 24 and there are already more than 600 runners registered for the half marathon, 50K and 50 mile races, Stockton said.
Aaron’s Kids delivers about 100 meals a week, volunteer James Little said. Lunches are available to anyone who asks for one. The food is mainly prepackaged. The project is funded through donations.
Project Lunchbox was established in January to provide lunches at LAMS three days a week, volunteer Erica Sullivan said. The school provides lunches to low income kids on the other two days. Like Aaron’s Kid’s, Project Lunchbox provides a lunch to any student who needs one. Currently, the project is serving about 120 lunches a month.
“The involvement of our youth in this project has been really fantastic,” Sullivan said. “They pack lunches and help us haul things. They’ve really taken an interest. It’s shocking there are hungry kids in Los Alamos … There’s a lot of denial, but there’s a real problem.”
Those wishing to donate to Aaron’s kids may write checks to the First United Methodist Church. Write Aaron’s Kids on the memo line. Drop checks off at the church at 715 Diamond Dr., in Los Alamos. Donate to Project Lunchbox by writing a check to the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos and dropping it off at 1738 N. Sage Loop. Write Project Lunchbox on the memo line.