Rodney's Kitchen launches free lunch program - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rodney's Kitchen launches free lunch program

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

During the school year, lunch is something kids can always count on, and now that summer is here, lunch is something some kids don't always get.

A local restaurant owner is helping make sure kids have full bellies this summer. Rodney Lewis is starting up his free lunch program in Waterloo this week at his restaurant Rodney's Kitchen.

"It makes me feel good, I was a kid once...it just makes me smile, it feels good to give back," said Lewis, Waterloo.

Lewis stuffs paper bags with a lunch and leaves them in the front of his restaurant for kids to take for free. Isaiah Golden, 9, says he is grateful for the lunch especially knowing it helps his mom.

"I think it means a lot because she doesn't have to take me somewhere to get me something for a bunch of money, she can just get me this, which is free," said Isaiah.

Utilizing the free lunch program is something many moms in the area say you shouldn't be ashamed of.

"I am thankful that I can find these places to feed my kids because I can't afford it," said Rose Crawford, Waterloo. "I am proud to say that I can't and that I need help so this is why I come here to these places during the summer to feed my kids."

Crawford has four kids and says it's hard to provide three meals a day for each of her children.

"With the money we have, it's just not enough, so it means a lot to me because they will get one more meal that I can't provide," said Crawford.

Kids left the restaurant today with a smile, a brown paper bag and a meal they may not have gotten. The free lunches mean the world to many Waterloo families.

"I feel like a proud mom and a good mom," said Crawford. "I don't have to feel ashamed of going places to feed my children."

Lewis says he gives away free lunches three days a week. He says during those days he usually gives more than 400 free lunches to kids.

The free lunch program will continue all summer and run Tuesday through Thursday from 1:00  pm to 3:00 pm at Rodney's Kitchen on Sycamore Street.

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