Salem High athletes volunteer to help kids eat healthy and read

Salem High basketball players Alex Blanchard(left in truck) and Manny Burwell pass food to Salem coach Kevin Garst(left), his wife Sarah(right) and other volunteers at First United Methodist Church Monday. PHOTO BY BRIAN HOFFMAN

The Salem High basketball team helped unload the truck for the Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries(SAEM) “Summer Feed and Read” program Monday at the First United Methodist Church in Salem.

The program provides meals to lower income families during the summer months, when school is not in session. Many families struggle to provide nutritious food at home and this program not only provides healthy food, but also books for the children. Local schools served include the four Salem Elementary Schools, Fort Lewis, Glenvar and Mason’s Cove.

The Salem High basketball and football teams take turns unloading the trucks that arrive with supplies for this program. This is the second summer the teams have worked to help provide this service for the needy.

“They volunteer to do this and they’re not looking for recognition,” said Trula Byington, a volunteer for the SAEM. “I think it’s important to acknowledge their contributions.”

For more information on the program check the website at