All God’s Children, located in a community room at public housing on Coffee Street has been quietly helping local children with afterschool snacks and homework help since 2009.
“It was March of 2019 when we (fellow Westwood Elementary School Teacher Deidra Goins) recognized that we needed something outside of school. We saw a trend when kids were not really excited when it time for summer or Christmas break,” Kim Davis, co-founder, of All God’s Children said.
They realized that these times were times when students missed out on school lunches.
“We started out serving breakfast and rolled that into breakfast and take-home lunches,” she said.
It was originally a three-day-a-week lunch program during the summer especially, but has now grown to a daily program for the last two years.
“The kid’s love the take-home lunches,” Davis said.
As All God’s Children has grown over the years, it became an afterschool program. Kids can walk in, grab a snack and leave, yet the organizers are adding a focus on academics.
The program is a mission of Manchester First Presbyterian Church. Manchester Housing Authority donates the apartment. Volunteers staff the program. Overhead operating expenses are zero. All donations are used to buy food and supplies,” according to Davis.
She added that the program was fortunate have the help of various supporters throughout the community.
“Our first few years in operation would not have been possible without the assistance of the Manchester Police and Fire Departments,” Goins said.
Donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 1101 Jackson St.
Rev. C.J. Thompson, pastor at Manchester First Presbyterian Church, said that anyone wanting to help donate individual sized sealed food items. The grab-and-go take home lunches, cannot use bulk-buy packages.
Monetary donations may be made for holiday giving, in lieu of memorials as well as regular donations. One hundred percent of donations is used directly for All God’s Children.
All children kindergarten through eighth grades are welcome at the facility 2:45-4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.