CABOT, Ark. (KTHV) - Free meals will be served to families in the Cabot school district over the Christmas break.

Natalie Cope, interim coordinator director with the Lunchbox Connection, breaks down how the system works. Cope said the program is a stand in meal provider in the absence of a school day for students who are on a free lunch program.

“In the evening, we serve a family meal, it's homemade stuff provided by our church community and other organizations in town," she said. “The need is so widespread in our community that no one church could meet it alone.”

Several churches, businesses in the community, and school clubs have all put in a helping hand. They are offering the time to serve and they switch who helps to provide dinner each night. On top of the kids getting a meal they also get to take home a breakfast and lunch for the next day.

“We always try to do a soup or a protein, something that is very easy for the child to prepare," she said. "For breakfast we'll try to make sure and have some healthy granola bars or some oatmeal and of course every kid wants a treat so we try to always have those in there.”

Kitchen leader Jessie Reining has been working at the program for two years now. She said it's important to feed the children, but to also give them a choice in what they want to eat. And for her, just seeing how thankful the families are is priceless to her.

“Last year a man came up and said this is the best chicken and rice I've ever had. It just made my day, we were trying to fight back tears with his gratitude.”

If you're interested to learn more, here is a link to dates and times the free meals will be available: