Summer program feeds need for free food

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By Bryan Marshall

Children do not have to wait until classes are back in session to eat nutritious school food.

A weekly summer feeding program that began June 15 provides free food consisting of all five food groups for youth 18 years old and younger.

“It saves households grocery money because they can feed all of their children at no cost as long as they’re not 19 years of age,” said Jan Kushniroff, director of food services for Grant County Schools.

The federally funded program has changed this year.

Food is not being delivered into neighborhoods as in previous years. Instead, families must come to one of three different sites across the county to receive the meals.

Breakfast is served from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday at Grant County High School and Williamstown Independent School.

Lunch also is served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays at both schools.

At the Grant County Library, lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The library also hosts a complimentary dinner from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.

A fourth location at Sherman Elementary had to be closed because of lack of participation.

“Participation has been OK,” Kushniroff said. “Not a whole lot of people come in off the streets. When there are activities, it brings the people in. We want people to realize that they can just come even if there are no activities.”

An average of 80 people receive meals daily at Williamstown, while GCHS feeds around 70 everyday.

The library serves another 50 children.

The program will continue until the end of July at the library and until the first week of August at the two schools.

“It’s like anything else, when you first make a change it takes more than one summer to build up,” Kushniroff said. “We don’t ask for income. We’re just there to feed the children.”