Are kids going hungry on summer break? They don’t have to. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides money to states to distribute free meals to children while they are out of school.
However, at the Rutherford County Youth Empowerment Center, not many people are taking advantage of the program.
The Forest City center runs the program in that county, but they are finding that not many kids are taking advantage of it.
There are more than 6,000 students in the county that qualify for free or reduced-price lunches during the school year, but in the weeks since school let out staff say just a handful of kids are trickling in to be fed lunch every day. It troubles me really, said Eveleyn Williams who helps manage the Center’s food program. It hurts me and sometimes almost brings me to tears ’cause some of our kids sometimes will tell us that sometimes the only meals they get are what we provide here.
Center staff thought at one point the obstacle may be transportation, but after teaming with a local church, which provided a van, there was little impact. The Summer Food Service Program is offered statewide in community locations such as parks, schools, playgrounds, housing authorities, day camps, churches and community centers from May to September. Click here to find out where children under 18 can get free meals. _______________
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