Labor Day is turning out to be no picnic for organizers of a free-meal program.
Pam Casagrande, board member for the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen (LINK), said the program needs help to serve a Labor Day meal.
"I need food. Lots of food," Casagrande said.
Thanks to an agreement between LINK and the Salvation Army, LINK serves free meals on days when the Salvation Army mealsite is closed.
Casagrande said this year, LINK meals would be served on Aug. 29, Aug. 31, Sept. 1, Sept. 2 and Sept. 3. The meal program also may serve on Aug. 30, she said.
On Thursday, Casagrande said the program had been overwhelmed by food needs. To ensure that the Labor Day picnic is served, Casagrande is seeking donations of milk, various types of salads, fresh fruit, hot dogs and rolls.
She said organizers were expecting 95 to 100 people at the meal -- all of whom will be invited to eat until they're full.
"For some of these people, this is their only meal of the day," she said.
Anyone interested in helping should call Casagrande at 542-5230.
Once arrangements are made, providers may drop off food from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at the First Christian Church, 1000 Ky., where the picnic will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
LINK has served more than 150,000 meals, most donated by local churches, businesses and residents, since the organization was created about 10 years ago, Casagrande said.
Today, she said, more and more people are taking advantage of the program.
"I don't have my figures, but it (per-meal crowd) has gone up in 10 years from around 65 to what we have now," she said.