The Vance County Schools Nutrition Program is providing free meals again this summer to children in various programs in our county.
Through a federally funded Summer Nutrition Program, the school system’s School Nutrition personnel are busy supplying breakfast, lunch and snacks each day for nine different programs, including the Read to Achieve reading camps for students in grades 1-3 at Dabney and Zeb Vance elementary schools.
Additional sites receiving the free meals are the Aycock Recreation Center, City Road United Methodist Church, the Eaton-Johnson Summer Camp, the ESL summer program at Dabney, the Gang Free Inc. summer camp, Gillburg United Methodist Church and the Pathway Enrichment Center.
In North Carolina, one in four children is at risk of hunger. They may not have access to enough food or healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, especially when school is out for the summer. The Summer Nutrition Program helps make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need. All children 18 and under can receive free summer meals.
An alarming number of children (approximately 35 percent) in Vance County live in poverty and do not have access to enough food at home. With this knowledge, school system officials for the past two school years have provided free breakfasts and lunches each school day to any students who want them. This is made possible through a federal school lunch program which Vance County qualifies for because of the high poverty rate in the county.
Many students depend on school meals. When school is not in session, these students are in peril of not being able to eat regular meals. The Summer Nutrition Program is a way to combat these risks. A lack of meals puts children at risk for illness and other health issues.
Each of the nine sites served by the Summer Nutrition Program applied to receive the meals. Phyllis Newcomb, director of the school system’s School Nutrition Program, reviews each application to ensure it meets eligibility requirements. A wide variety of meals are provided for breakfasts and lunches. Representatives from each site must pick up their meals from Dabney Elementary School in approved containers capable of keeping meal items cold and/or hot during transport.
The school system also is working with officials from St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Henderson to provide usage of the cafeteria at Pinkston Street Elementary School as a distribution site for the church’s Mobile Lunch Program.Image Information: Unsplash / Pixabay