BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. – A nutritious meal is important for children to learn, play and remain active during the summer months. Many children only get those meals during the school year; however, hunger does not take a summer vacation.
The Boone County Schools Office of Child Nutrition has announced its sponsorship of the federally funded Summer Food Service Program.
“Breakfast and lunch meals are open to all children, ages 18 years and under, who would like to participate,” said Deidre Krueger, Office of Child Nutrition Director.
Meals will be served at Sherman Elementary on June 22-26, with breakfast from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 12:30 to 1 p.m.; at Brookview Elementary on June 29-July 24, with breakfast from 8:30 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon; at the Boone-Madison Public Library on Main Street in downtown Madison on June 29-July 24, with breakfast from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 12:30 to 1 p.m.; at Nellis Elementary on June 29-July 24, with breakfast from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 12:30 to 1 p.m.; at Ramage Elementary on June 29-July 24, with breakfast from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 12:30 to 1 p.m.; and at Sherman Elementary again on July 13-24 with breakfast from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 12:30 to 1 p.m.
For more information about the Boone County Schools Summer Food Program, call Krueger at 304-369-8248.
With the start of summer, it’s time to think about how children who receive free or reduced-priced lunch in school will eat healthy while school is out.
The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Office of Child Nutrition, a proud sponsor of the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
The federally funded initiative provides funds to participating agencies which include local boards of education, parks and recreation, colleges and universities, community action agencies, churches and other faith based groups to help feed hungry kids every summer.
An average of 173,000 West Virginia schoolchildren depend on free and reduced-price meals at school and have access to school meals throughout the school year as part of the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs, state school officials said.
However, those meals end when school is out for the summer months. The SFSP ensures that children in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during summer break.
“Last year there were 420 summer sites serving an average of 12,000 meals per day. In all, we were proud to serve 552,912 meals last summer. This summer there are 136 agencies participating and over 484 feeding sites,” said Rick Goff, Executive Director of the WVDE Office of Child Nutrition.
“It is very important to feed children healthy meals because hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation,” said Diane Limbacher with the United States Department of Agriculture. “Our partnership with the WVDE Office of Child Nutrition, allows them to identify agencies, and our office to provide funds for summer feeding sites throughout the state. We are focused on increasing the number of feeding sites and outreach to the children that may not have access to meals during the summer.”
Individuals can find information on their closest summer feeding sites by visiting http://wvde.state.wv.us/ocn-download/Forms/SFSP/2015/SFSP_SiteMap2015.pdf, calling the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3HUNGRY or by texting FOOD to 877-877.
For more resources on the SFSP, contact the WVDE Office of Child Nutrition at (304) 558-3396 or visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/child-nutrition/sfsp/resources.html.
• Another program to help Boone County students during the summer months is the “Summer Backpacks Program.”
No student who asks for assistance, regardless of believed economic situation, will be denied assistance, organizers said.
Students who receive backpacks during the school year will be targeted for enrollment in the summer program.
Confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Besides the key contact person at each school, only a few select individuals will have access to the participating students names.
Due to the rural nature of our communities, economic situation of the families and students we are attempting to help and past attempts to provide support in the summer, it was determined that summer backpacks should be shipped to the student’s home.
Backpacks will be shipped every other week using the USPS Regional Rate B Box.
The summer backpacks were developed with the original purpose of the school year backpacks in mind, to supplement the nutritional needs of the students.
The summer backpacks contain canned pasta, soup, vegetables, fruit and meat, peanut butter & jelly, Ramen noodles, oatmeal packets and Nutra Grain Bars.
There are three summer backpack configurations that support the various family sizes.
Not only is food provided during the summer, hygiene products are also sent to the students.
The summer hygiene boxes contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, deodorant, soap, shampoo and nail clippers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP?
• $20 will support one student with one backpack box this summer
• $80 will support one student the entire summer
• $500 will support the delivery of 25 backpack boxes this summer
• $1,000.00 will support the delivery of 50 backpack boxes this summer
Organizers say that 100 percent of your contribution goes to support the program.
“Your support will directly affect the lives of the students of Boone County, said Krystal Stollings, Director of Psychological Services.
Stollings is spear heading the initiative with John Ballengee with the United Way.
Tentatively, the backpack boxes will be organized and packed for shipping on Saturday, June 27, starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Madison Volunteer Fire Station.
“This program is to provide food to our students in Boone County who may be in need of supplemental meals,” said Dr. Lisa D. Beck, Boone County Schools Assistant Superintendent.
For more information about this initiative, call Stollings at 304-369-8278.