HAMILTON - Maria's Restaurant decided to start a free lunch program for kids who are hungry in the community.
"I know what it feels like to not have food, so I promised myself that one day, I would give back, if God allowed me to do that," said Maria Chavez, restaurant owner.
Chavez and her husband have owned Maria's Restaurant for almost a year, and Chavez said she realized there are children in her community that only eat one meal a day provided by the school. She realized she was in a place to give back, and posted a letter on the door to her restaurant inviting those that are hungry to come eat.
Maria's Restaurant has already started offering free sack lunches for anyone that is hungry. The sack lunch includes either a PB&J or ham and cheese sandwich, a piece of fruit, and a drink. On Fridays it will be a piece of pizza and ice cream so that the kids have something to look forward to, said Chavez.
"I'm not here to judge anybody, I'm no one to judge anybody, you just come and get a free lunch and I'm not gonna look down on you or say something, it's just my doors are open for anybody," said Chavez.
The lunches are provided at the restaurant from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Missoula Food Bank & Community Center has also compiled a list of places that also provide free summer meals to children. A complete list can be found at this link.
https://www.foodpantries.org/ is another resource that allows you to put in your address and find the closest food pantry to your home.