Lunch Buddy Recruitment

Lunch Buddy Recruitment
Posted on 08/10/2022

The Lunch Buddy Program Needs You!
By:  Christine Harper

            With the start of school right around the corner, the need for volunteers is as great as it has ever been.  Mexico Public Schools is extremely fortunate to have a community that works hard to provide a safe and healthy environment for kids to live and prosper.  One organization that is a huge volunteer part of our district is Bright Futures Audrain, specifically its Lunch Buddy Program.  Since the beginning of the partnership between MPS and Bright Futures, the Lunch Buddy program has been a rewarding experience and has grown tremendously over the years.

            The Lunch Buddy Program is pretty simple.  A qualified adult (I’ll explain “qualified” at the end) gets paired with a kiddo and that adult goes to their school and has lunch with their Lunch Buddy.  It can be a couple of times a month, once a week, or really when the volunteering adult is available.  Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but it is.  When we talk about positive interactions with kids, the Lunch Buddy Program volunteers definitely provide that.

Lunch Buddy, Chief Susan Rockett, has been a Lunch Buddy since the program started in Mexico.  She stated, “I cannot stress enough that efforts like Lunch Buddies are the support for any and all other ways we can maintain, grow, and develop our community.  Nurturing a good, strong foundation is how we build for the future.  Everyone has to help.” 

Julie McKeown, also a Lunch Buddy, says, “For me, being a Lunch Buddy has given me so much joy.  I met my buddy six years ago and have watched that child grow, learn, mature, and blossom into a confident, loving middle schooler.  I’ll never know whether our friendship had much to do with that positive growth, but watching it happen over the years has been a privilege.  Our community is rich with people who care.  All you need to do is take that leap, sign up, and be there!”

Sally Stuart has been with the program since it first started.  Sally said the biggest reward for her has been “to get to know Elie and hope that I’ve made a difference in her life.”  Sally said that over the years, Elie’s friends have sometimes joined them for lunch and that has been a fun time for everyone.

Sally Stuart’s Lunch Buddy, Elie, had this to say, “I trust Miss Sally.  I can tell her anything and she won’t blab to anyone.  She has been a great role model and has given me opportunities to do things.” 

Our volunteers really are a big part of our students’ success.  To become a Lunch Buddy is easy to do.  It does require a little bit of paperwork and a background check on the volunteer’s end, but the rewards are so worth it.  I think all of our Lunch Buddies would definitely attest to that.  If you are interested in becoming a Lunch Buddy for the upcoming 22-23 school year, contact Central Office at 581-3773, and we will get you on your way to a rewarding experience!