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Lancaster diner offering free lunches to help local children avoid hunger

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Michael Mroziak, WBFO
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She serves breakfasts and lunches to customers from her Lancaster diner. Robin Finsterbach, owner of Aunt Robin's Diner, wants to be sure kids don't go hungry during the summer. So she's giving them a free bagged lunch.

During the summer, children ages 15 and under need simply inform the server they are "here for lunch." What they'll get is a bagged meal including a sandwich, fruit and vegetable, bag of chips and drink.

"All kids are welcome," said Finsterbach. "I see some kids around the area. Some of them are hungry. It's not just for people that are struggling, it's for everybody."

When asked what inspired her to do this, Finsterbach explained that while growing up with numerous siblings in a home with older parents, money was tight and her mother would make batches of food to last for a longer period of time. For example, she said, it might be chili which was eaten over the next week.

Now a business owner and mother - her son Chris was also working in the diner when WBFO paid a visit - Finsterbach wants to make sure local kids don't go hungry during the summer, when they don't necessarily have access to a meal as they might at school. She also pointed out that even suburbs are not immune from hunger.

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Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO
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A sign inside Aunt Robin's Diner in Lancaster spells out a free bagged lunch available to children ages 15 and younger this summer.

"Even in Williamsville and Clarence, it's not always true," she said about the perception of affluence in those municipalities. "The higher the rent, the less people have to feed their kids."

Donations are welcomed to help offset the costs. When the summer ends, so too will the free bagged lunches but Finsterbach also provides free meals to everybody at other times of the year. They include Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas breakfasts and usually something for Easter.

"I tell my kids, even if you have five dollars, you still have two dollars to try nad do something nice for somebody else," she said. "All is takes is a kind word or gesture to make somebody smile."

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