Serious Fun Mondays summer lunch and learning program is wrapping up a full summer of activities with a special community-wide celebration on Monday, August 6 in Chesney Park at 18th and Clay in Topeka from 11 to 2.
Three local organizations collaborated this summer to offer Serious Fun Mondays every Monday from June 4 to August 6. Raise Kansas, a local coalition of women dedicated to reducing the number of hungry kids in Shawnee County, was the primary organizer of the events and provided free books to children who came. Hy-Vee provided free, healthy sack lunches. The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center provided educators and activities for hands-on-learning.
“We are proud to be a part of such a unique program. Serious Fun Mondays is providing a needed service in our community,” said Mikki Burcher, the Director of Marketing for the Topeka Hy-Vee. “For Hy-Vee, this is about helping keep these children healthy and happy.”
Over 670 lunches were served at Serious Fun Mondays this summer.
The final two Serious Fun Mondays also featured a farmer’s market sponsored by the Sunflower Health Plan. The market offers free take-home snacks and produce to children, many households struggling with food insecurity.
“We know that 20 percent of our kids here in Shawnee County, that’s one in five, are food insecure, meaning they don’t have regular access to enough affordable, nutritious food,” said Ximena Garcia, founder of Raise Kansas. “Serious Fun Mondays has been an effort to reach these kids with food alongside opportunities to play and learn.”