Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Baker City kids were very nearly let down.

But then they were saved - possibly from rumbling stomachs, anyway - by volunteers from the Baker United Methodist Church.

The result is that a lot of local kids can get a free hot lunch Monday through Thursday through Aug. 19.

Which is a good thing.

What happened is that the Baker School District was waiting to hear whether it would get a $3,000 grant to hire a cook to prepare meals for the free lunch program.

The program was supposed to start Monday, June 14.

But just a few days before that, school officials still had no word about the grant.

So on Friday, June 11, the district announced that the lunch program was canceled.

Its revival was rapid.

Partners for a Hunger-free Oregon told the district that the $3,000 grant was approved.

That, however, left Jean Dean, the district's food services manager, with money but no volunteers to serve the meals.

Which is where the Methodist Church comes in. The congregation rounded up all the volunteers needed.

The meals are served free to children 18 and younger from noon to 12:30 p.m. at the church, 1919 Second St.