Keeping children adequately fed in the summer doesn’t have to be a problem, because several area school districts are serving up free lunches every day.
Some also are offering free breakfast.
Summer food programs will be offered in the Ashland, Boyd County, Greenup County and Carter County districts.
The programs provide free meals to children up to and including 18 years old. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Kentucky Department of Education, the program doesn’t require children to be district residents and the meals are offered regardless of income, sex, race, religion or nationality.
The meals are an important resource for families who depend on schools during the academic year to keep children fed, nutrition experts say. “Just because school is out doesn’t mean they’re not hungry,” said Chris Napier, an assistant in the Boyd County food service department.
“They need nutritious food all summer, not just during the school year.”
The program helps families whose budgets are already stretched thin, Carter County food service director Sheila Bradshaw said. “Even families with two jobs feel a huge economic impact,” she said.
Boyd County’s program will include a special event July 6 at Catlettsburg Elementary, Napier said.
The free public event will include local farmers and first responders, healthy food information, fresh produce taste testing, and games and activities for kids, teens and parents. The time for the event has not been set.
Summer sites typically see a decline in participation after July 4 and the event is an attempt to keep children coming back for the duration of the program, Napier said.
Area program locations, dates and times include:
— Crabbe Elementary, Monday through Friday, May 29 through Aug. 10, except for July 4.breakfast 8-9 a.m., lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
— Summit Elementary, Monday through Friday, June 11 through Aug. 11 except July 4 and July 19. Breakfast 7:30-9:30 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Catlettsburg Elementary, Monday through Thursday, June 18 through July 12. Breakfast 7:30-9:30 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Additional sites Boyd County will serve:
— Kinder College, 1400 College Drive, June 11 through Aug. 10, breakfast and lunch
— Boyd County High School, June 13 through June 29, breakfast and lunch.
— Boyd County Middle School, June 11 through June 13, breakfast and lunch.
— YMCA, June 11 through Aug. 10, lunch only.
— Fairview High School, July 9 through July 11, lunch only.
— Church of God, 3601 Valley Street, Catlettsburg, June 20 through Aug. 5, breakfast and supper.
— Greenup County High School, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. June 4 through July 27, closed July 4 and July 19. Breakfast will be served Monday-Friday, June 4-June 22, 9-9:30 a.m.
— McKell Middle School, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 4 through July 27, closed July 4 and July 19.
— Wurtland Middle School, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1p.m. June 4 through July 27, closed July 4 and July 19.
Greenbo Lake State Park, Monday through Friday, 9 to 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 25 through June 29.
— Prichard Elementary, Monday through Friday, June 11 through July 31 except closed July 4, 10 and 11, lunch 11 a.m. to noon; breakfast 8-8:30 a.m. July 9 to 13.
— West Carter High School, Monday through Friday June 11 through July 31 except closed July 4, breakfast 9:30 to 10 a.m., lunch 11 a.m. to noon.
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