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Summer lunch program extends school meals

Feeding the children

POSTED: June 12, 2013 11:00 p.m.
Photo by Danielle Hipps/

The meals meat USDA nutrition guides and include juices.

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Liberty County’s annual summer lunch program launched Monday and boasts several new sites this year to provide 21 opportunities for students to receive free midday meals.
Liberty County Family Connection Director David Floyd is coordinating the program for the first time.
“The way it works is food is offered until it’s gone,” Floyd said.
Lunch is served noon- 1 p.m.
The federally funded program is made possible through a federal Summer Food Service Program grant, which reimburses the cost of lunches to the county.
Floyd said the longstanding program typically operates on between $130,000 and $140,000 to provide packed meals for all children ages 18 and younger. Because all sites in the county are open sites, lunch-seekers are not required to provide proof of income.
The Liberty County/Armed Forces YMCA and Liberty County’s Shuman Recreation Center are among the new venues this year, as well as Live Oak Church’s Spanish branch, De Dos es el Poder during its first week.  
“That’s going to be a large number of children that we haven’t reached before,” Floyd said. “I’m actually real excited that we’re doing the rec department and the YMCA because they’re two places where people traditionally drop their kids off.
“We’re trying to take the place of the free and reduced lunches through the school system, and you basically have to find the places where the kids are already and send the food there.”
Adrea Trotter, who directs the Y’s childcare and ASPYN programs, said they anticipate serving about 150 children each day.
“If I had known it would be this easy, we’d have been doing it all along,” Trotter said. “We have a lot of low-income children who come to our summer camp program at a lower rate because of our scholarship program, and it helps the parents out.”
Campers may receive the meals, as well children who are brought to a site just for the meal.
The Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Agency is providing the bagged lunches, which meet USDA nutrition guidelines, at $2.82 per meal. The meals must be eaten on-site.

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