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This summer is my second summer working with Son Ministries and the Hilliard Free summer lunch program. Over the past two summers I have grown to love all the kids, and the relationships I have built have been priceless. Last year one of the campers and I had an almost daily conversation where her teacher, one of the teens or I would basically beg her every day to eat any part of her lunch for a ticket. This year however when she returned, I was prepared for “if you eat your banana I will eat mine!” or “If you eat your fruit cup I’ll give you a ticket” and so on. Then in the first week the food of the day was pineapple, my personal favorite food. I walked over to her lunch table. I watched as she prepared to put her food into the “Share cooler” when I stopped her and explained that pineapple was my favorite food and begged her to try just one bite. Sure enough she loved it. While the rest of her food still ended up in the share cooler that day she had 3 other pieces of pineapple, which is easily, the most food she has eaten over the past two summers. About a week later pineapple was in the lunches again and this time without any type of prodding she sat right next to the share cooler and waited for people to bring their pineapple so that she could eat it and excitedly at the end of lunch told me she had had 4 slices of pineapple. While this may not seem like much it easily made my entire week. After trying the pineapple she has also started to try a few new things. Today at lunch she ate an entire chicken sandwich and almost every day this summer has finished at least one item in her lunch, which is a remarkable improvement from last summer.

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