Hello! My name is Michael, and I am responsible for the HIP meal site at Paramount School Park! Paramount is a beautiful park, and sees so many people come through every day for lunch.
One element that I have really enjoyed about the meal service program is the element of community it brings. While it’s rare for the same people to come every day, there are many frequent visitors. A few of them love to invite others; one family getting lunch becomes a group, with kids all playing together and their parents talking. It’s really amazing to see how the meal service brings people together, and provides them with both food and community.
While the frequent visitors make the meal site a fun place, visitors help remind me how great of a gift the meal service provides to many. Kids and their parents are simply surprised that someone would offer free food. Often, they aren’t entirely certain the food is theirs until they hold it in their hands. Its a reminder that most things aren’t given, as much as paid for. It’s been a terrific experience to see how giving food at a park helps build community and improve someone’s day (especially a mom with 4 hungry boys).
Both new and old visitors make the meal site at Paramount a great place to spend lunchtime. Sometimes it’s very empty, other times its packed. But it’s been amazing and humbling to see the impact the gift of a meal can have on someone’s day.