Free food for Muscogee County kids this summer

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - People say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but the Muscogee County School District if proving that wrong by providing every kid a meal this summer.

"It implements breakfast as well as lunch and we also give snacks in the afternoon. It's a great way to continue nutrition education," explained Martin Luther King Elementary School's Cafeteria Manager Sarah Campbell.

Funding for the "Summer Feeding Program" comes from the national feed the children organization, so residents won't be footing the bill, but the gift is priceless to the kids.

Marian Bone, the School Nutrition Director said, "They might not have otherwise been given a nutritious meal. A lot of times they get what's quick and easy and sometimes it's not the most nutritious."

Kiana Walker is taking advantage of the program. She told News Leader Nine, "I think it's nice because they might be hungry and they'll like it so they can have somewhere to go it they need food."

Last year the program served approximately 128,000 meals. Even summer camps and youth groups are taking advantage of the meals. Shakeithaya Porter brought a group from Girls Inc., "It's much easier and guarantees everyone gets a hot meal because nine times out of ten all kids don't eat so it's necessary they get proper nutrition."

Plus Campbell says the kids love what's on the menu, "When are we having chicken? We're having hamburgers! When are we having hot dogs? They look forward to the delicious meals we put together in the nutrition department."

"We feel very blessed that we're able to provide this service for our community," added Bone.

The 22 schools are offering breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to any child under the age of 18.

If any adults would like to take advantage of the Summer Feeding Program, they can pay at the locations $1.50 for breakfast and $3 for lunch.

To get more information on the program or to sign up your group, you can call the School Nutrition Department at (706)748-2386.

The participating schools are as follows:

Arnold Middle School

Brewer Elementary

Carver High School at Baker Middle

Cusseta Road Elementary

J. D. Davis Elementary

Dawson Elementary

Double Churches Elementary

East Columbus Magnet

Eastway Elementary/Lonnie Jackson Academy

Eddy Middle

Forrest Road Elementary

Hannan Elementary

Johnson Elementary

Key Elementary

Martin Luther King Elementary

Muscogee Elementary

South Columbus Elementary

Spencer High

St. Mary's Elementary

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.