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Five-year-old sought food donations in lieu of gifts

Lucy Christensen and her family decided that for her fifth birthday, they would seek food donations for the Iron County Locker Lunch program.
IRON RIVER—No one could blame young Lucy Christensen if she wanted a haul of gifts for her fifth birthday. After all, you only turn five once, right?
    But Lucy and her parents, Rick and Jessica Christensen, decided to do something different and quite inspiring instead.
    “For her fifth birthday, we wanted to give her a party and focus on the experience rather than gifts,” Jessica Christensen said of her daughter, who will enter kindergarten at West Iron this fall. “While we have been teaching her about kindness following her year of pre-K … and gearing for kindergarten this fall, we decided to donate to a local charity in lieu of birthday gifts.”
    So Lucy and her parents asked for food donations, which in turn they would donate to the Iron County Locker Lunch program.
    Locker Lunch is a program which provides food for school age children during the weekend. According to, for many children their last full meal is the school lunch provided at Friday noon. They have very little or nothing until Monday morning breakfast at the school. Locker Lunch strives to address this problem and provide lunch bags for these children “because no child should go to bed hungry.”
    The Iron County Locker Lunch program started in 2011 at West Iron and has grown to include students at Forest Park as well.
    The program is run by Sue Fritz, who certainly was appreciate of Lucy and her parents’ effort.
    “How awesome! Thank you, Lucy, what a wonderful idea. You are helping provide food for kids during their weekend away from school.”
    For her part, Lucy said she enjoyed donating the several bags of food items “because it’s to help people and to be kind.”
    The Christensens offered thanks to those aiding in their charitable effort.
    “Thank you to all her friends and our family who participated to make this donation great,” Jessica Christensen said. “We are looking forward to supporting this organization in the future.”
    According to its website, Locker Lunch survives solely on donations and grants. It costs between $5-$6 per child, per week. Each week Locker Lunch provides two breakfasts, several lunch and snack items, and warm microwaveable stomach-filling dishes and fresh fruit.
    One hundred percent of all donations goes toward buying food for the kids.  All time is volunteer; Locker Lunch has no salaries or overhead. Office materials, warehousing, bags, distribution, accounting are all donated services.  
    Any donation goes to the children.  
    Locker Lunch is a 501(c)(3) charity. Any and all monetary donations are welcome; however, for approximately $216, you can feed one child for one year.
    Food donations can be
 dropped off or shipped to Dina Mia Kitchens in Iron River or to the Forest Park Elementary School office in Crystal Falls.
    Some of the items needed are: instant oatmeal, cereals, granola bars, macaroni and cheese cups, Chef Boyardee pastas, 7-ounce soups, beanie weenies, tuna salad, cheese and crackers, Jif-to-Go, applesauce, fruit cups, pudding, energy bars, raisins and nuts, beef sticks, fruit juices, shelf stable milk, etc. All items must be shelf stable and individually wrapped.