Parishioners at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church spent time last Sunday making lunch together, but it wasn’t for a church picnic.

Instead, the 1,005 lunches they packed were intended to help feed local Norwalk children who have food insecurity when school is out for the summer.

The lunches included turkey and cheese sandwiches, applesauce, a granola bar, a fruity snack, napkin, spoon and a bottle of water. Parishioners of all ages worked the assembly line of sandwich makers, baggers and boxers.

The Norwalk Summer Lunch Program is administered through the Norwalk Housing Authority (NHA), the Norwalk Grassroots Tennis Program, and the Bridgeport Rescue Mission (BRM) to provide breakfast and lunch daily for eight weeks of summer to children participating in the NHA Summer Learning Centers and Tennis Program. By providing two nutritious meals daily during the summer months, when school breakfasts and lunches are not readily available, the organizations help these children and their families cope with food insecurity.

Local churches are scheduled weekly by BRM to donate breakfast money and make tasty and nutritious lunches, and then store them for NHA. (Several churches make lunches daily and deliver them directly to NHA.) Churches pack lunch bags with everything except the sandwiches, which get boxed separately so they can be frozen until needed. BRM purchases breakfast cereal and milk in bulk, and these items are picked up a day ahead by the same driver so that the items are available for the kids first thing in the morning on the following day.