When the Rev. Phil Batten’s lesson on Heaventrain ends, each child receives a ticket for a snack. With tickets clutched in their hands, they barrel down the bus steps and head for Don Eckenrode, who starts to hand out packages of Cheetos and bear-claw danishes.
Eckenrode, 46, of Doylestown, said he hates the idea of kids going hungry, and he knows some of the Heaventrain kids won’t get anything to eat that day except the snacks.
“I don’t think the Lord’s happy (when the kids are hungry), and I know I won’t be happy until they’re all eating,” said Eckenrode, who also manages Lighthouse Inc.’s larger food distribution program that serves 10 inner-city neighborhoods.