Joy Atkins, 7, and her brother Darrell, 9, eat lunch Thursday during a Gleaners Food Bank and Southwestern Schools summer feeding program stop at Hanover Mobile Village.

Southwestern Schools partnered with Gleaners Food Bank to roll out meals to hungry Hanover children this summer.

The school's Summer Meals for Kids program delivers food to children on a bus. The program began this week and runs through Aug. 2.

Children are given a sandwich, fruit, chips, milk, juice and sometimes ice cream.

Patrick Baden, 12, who will be in sixth-grade next year, said, "The food is really good."

The bus has a share box, where children can put food they didn't want to eat, letting someone else take it.

Karen Todd volunteers on the bus. She said each day this week they've had nine children using the program. There are two other buses that travel around the community doing the same.

Last year, nearly 700 children in the Hanover area used free- or reduced-cost school meals.

Randy Cole also volunteers his time to deliver meals. He said many churches around the area have been asking congregations for volunteers.

"If it wasn't for volunteers, this program would never fly," Cole said.

Madison Schools also provides free lunches over summer break. Lunch is served at Lydia Middleton and E. O. Muncie elementary schools from 11 a.m. to noon every weekday in June.

This is the first year that Madison is offering the service.

(Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/