Program provides free meals for area children
June 19, 2013 11:15 PM | 2094 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Michelle Babcock

mbabcock@cherokeetribune.com

Eight locations in Cherokee County are participating in the Seamless Summer Feeding Program that expects to serve about 67,000 children free meals this summer.

Cherokee County School District’s School Nutrition Supervisor Susan Turner said during the school year, 32 percent of CCSD students, about 12,480, receive free or reduced price lunches as part of the USDA School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program.

“Our main goal is to feed children, whether it is during the school year or during the summer. We are doing what we can to eliminate as much child hunger as possible,” Turner said. “Mothers call wanting to know where they can go and what they need to do

to get food for their

children.”

Of her experience with the Seamless Summer, program, Turner said “every year we

just want to expand

our program so we can reach more and more children.”

“The phone rang one day. When I answered, it was a young child,” Turner said. “He simply said, ‘I am hungry. Can you give me some food?’ His father was there but he did not speak English. I was able to get the child’s telephone number. Linda Dittrich, who is one of our coordinators, is bilingual. She called the father and spoke with him. As a result, we were able to get food for the child.”

Turner said children are offered an entree and can choose which fruits and vegetables they want, and have a choice of milk. She said the Seamless Summer program was started so CCSD could help children who were not already in the program.

Children younger than 18 are eligible for the free meals, and there is no income or registration requirement.

“During the year, students are at school, so it is easy to have the food available for them to come into the cafeteria to eat,” Turner said. “During the summer, we serve fewer students because we have to find the children out in the community and take the food to them. It is much more difficult to coordinate, but definitely worth the effort.”

Turner said that many CCSD school lunch employees work through the summer to feed children breakfast and lunch, and the program has been very successful.

“Last year we used one of the maintenance trucks to help distribute the food,” Turner said. “The week after we stopped serving the children, one of the maintenance workers went to one of the schools to do some work. The children saw the truck and went running up to the maintenance worker, wanting food.”

Turner said the CCSD program tries to find areas where many students gather, so they can reach as many children as they can. “We only wish we could reach more children than we presently serve,” she said.

Sites that serve breakfast and lunch include the YMCA in Canton, YMCA in Woodstock, Teasley Middle School, Canton Elementary School and Woodstock High School. Those serving only lunch include Shadowood and East Gate mobile home communities and Cherokee High School.

According to the CCSD more than 2,200 statewide locations are participating in the Seamless Summer Feeding Program.

For details and information about the CCSD program, children and their parents can call the School Nutrition office at (770) 721-8421.

Seamless Summer Feeding Program

locations and times:

Breakfast and lunch:

• YMCA Canton: May 29 through July 26. Breakfast 8 to 8:15 a.m., Lunch 11 to 11:25 a.m.

• YMCA Woodstock: May 29 through July 26. Breakfast 8 to 8:20 a.m., Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

• Teasley Middle School in Canton: June 3 through 21. Breakfast 8 to 8:15 a.m., Lunch 11 to 11:15 a.m.

• Canton Elementary School: June 11 through 21. Breakfast 8:05 to 8:15 a.m., Lunch 10:45-11 a.m.

• Woodstock High School: June 3 through 21. Breakfast 7:45 to 8:05 a.m., Lunch 12 to 12:20 p.m.

Lunch:

• Shadowood Mobile Home Community in Acworth: May 29 through July 26, 10:45 to 11:20 a.m.

• East Gate Mobile Home Community in Acworth: May 29 through July 26, 11:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Cherokee High School in Canton: July 9 through 18, 11 to 11:15 a.m.

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