07/07/11 — Summer program offers food for local children

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Summer program offers food for local children

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 7, 2011 1:46 PM

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Kheirstun Turnage, 8, picks up breakfast at Dillard Academy this morning. The Summer Food Service Program, one of 12 in Goldsboro, serves breakfast and lunch to children up to age 18 during the summer months.

A growing number of children are qualifying for free or reduced school meals in schools. But what about when school is out for the summer?

The federally funded Summer Food Service Program is again offering nutritious meals and snacks for children ages 18 and under across the state, with 12 sites in Wayne County participating between now and August.

According to state officials, more than 813,000 children received free or reduced price meals at public schools during the 2010-2011 school year. That is up from the estimated 790,000 children the previous year and 704,000 in 2008-09.

The economy has likely contributed to the spiraling numbers, said Cynthia Ervin, coordinator of the SFSP through the N.C. Division of Public Health.

"The Summer Food Service Program ensures that children receive complete, wholesome meals and offers parents help in stretching their food dollars during the summer months," she said.

Last year's efforts provided for an average of 66,533 children each day, Ms. Ervin said. Participating organizations receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide the meals.

At the outset this year, 18 local sites offered meals. At this point, several have concluded their participation period, leaving 12 still operational. Final dates vary from now until mid-August.

Children may go to any participating sites to receive free meals. Registration is not required and there is no cost to children or families.

The following are the locations in Goldsboro participating in the weekday free meal distribution.

* Through July 20: First Assembly II, 321 N. Berkeley Blvd., 5-6:30 p.m.

* Through Aug. 5: Herman Park Center, 901 E. Ash St., 12-1 p.m., 3-4 p.m.

* Through Aug. 12: Elmwood Terrace, 409 Hinson St., 12-1:30 p.m.; Little Washington, 600 Whitfield Drive, 12-1:30 p.m.

* Through Aug. 13: First Assembly, 321 N. Berkeley Blvd., 12-1:30 p.m.

* Through Aug. 19: Boys & Girls Club, Royall Avenue, 12-1 p.m. and Boys & Girls Club, Fremont, 12-12:30 p.m.; Dillard Academy., 504 W. Elm St., 8-8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; Stoney Creek, Hwy. 111 Stoney Creek Church Road, 8-8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; WA Foster, 516 S. Leslie St., 12-12:45 p.m.; Daniels Children's Outreach, 1935 N. William St., 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and YMCA Summer Camp, 1105 Parkway Drive, 8:30-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.