The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 17, 2014

Jumpstart to the day

'Breakfast in the Park' under way

The Commercial-News

---- — Children in need can find fun and food at Breakfast in the Park this summer.

Meals will be served from 9-10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday until Aug. 8 for ages 4-12 at Lincoln Park Pavilion.

A variety of activities will be presented by agencies, including the Girl Scouts, Red Cross and the YMCA, after breakfast is served. These organizations will offer events such as basketball and kickball, butter making, treasure hunts and sidewalk chalk art.

On Monday — the first day of the program — activities included members of the Danville Police Department, who talked with the youth. Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason was one of many community officials present.

The United Way of Danville makes these events available through its funding.

“They organize all the agencies to come offer the programs each day. Honestly, we couldn’t do it without them,” said Misty Walker, senior administrative assistant at Quaker Oats.

During its four years of service, Breakfast in the Park has provided about 9,000 meals consisting of cereal, granola bars, milk, fruit, and juice. Last year, volunteers served nearly 3,000 meals. The event is sponsored by Quaker Oats, one of Danville’s largest employers. Breakfast in the Park is run entirely by employees and retirees of the company.

“We wouldn’t have a program if it wasn’t for them, because they do all of the work,” Walker said.

The Quaker Oats Co. is part of PepsiCo, a global food and beverage company that is responsible for major brands like Doritos, Mountain Dew, and Frito-Lay. PepsiCo has been working to fight childhood hunger, and Breakfast in the Park is one of the steps it has taken to meet that goal.

“It’s fun. We love the people,” one of the children said. “We have been coming here for two years. The cereal and the Gatorade are our favorites.”

Breakfast in the Park will continue for eight weeks this summer with the exception of July 3 and 4. Organizers will hold a Quaker scavenger hunt on Aug. 8.

For more details, follow Breakfast in the Park on Facebook or call 443-3990.