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Summer food program focuses on kids' nutrition

ALBANY -- If it weren't for government assistance, many of Georgia's children would have to skip school lunches. Government food programs go a long way to assist in learning and prevent malnutrition. Then comes summer when school is out.

"Nearly 60 percent of children enrolled in Georgia's public schools are eligible for free or reduced lunch," said Danah Craft, executive director of the Georgia Food Bank Association, "but only 15 percent of them participate in summer meal programs. That means that children who depend on access to lunch during the school year often go hungry in the summer."

According to Craft, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers free summer meals to kids across Georgia similar to school lunch and breakfast programs, except the meals are free to all kids ages 18 and younger who come to a summer meals site registered through the USDA. In addition to nutritious food, many of the sites offer learning and recreational activities so kids can stay active and spend time with friends. Parents can bring their children to receive the meals without the necessity of an application.

To locate a summer lunch site, GFBA sources say to text the word "FoodGA" to 877-877, then enter your address when prompted. the system will send information on the three closest locations. As an alternative, call 221, the United Way helpline, for information and site locations.

According to GFBA sources, the texting system is part of the Georgia Food Bank Association's "Feeding for a Promising Future -- No Kid Hungry campaign in Georgia." Through the program, enrolled nonprofits, churches and schools can receive reimbursement for the meals served.

While the Food Bank of Southwest Georgia in Albany is not a participant in the GFBA Summer Meals Texting Campaign, it does provide free meals all year long through its "Kid's Cafe" program at area Boys and Girls Clubs.

The Albany Recreation and Parks Department maintains a list of agencies, churches and other organizations offering free USDA means during the summer. For information call Christopher Campbell, program coordinator, at (229) 430-5222.

Comments

MisterEd 1 year, 9 months ago

"Nearly 60 percent of children enrolled in Georgia's public schools are eligible for free or reduced lunch," said Danah Craft, executive director of the Georgia Food Bank Association, "but only 15 percent of them participate in summer meal programs. That means that children who depend on access to lunch during the school year often go hungry in the summer."

Bullspit. What it means is that the other 45 percent were probably scamming the state to begin with. There is no way that many children in the state should be enrolled in the free and reduced meal program. Obviously, the bar is WAY too low.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

All the Democrat Plantation Overseers want is 50+ percent of the vote to remain in power forever! (Or at least until China refuses to loan us any more money!) They almost have it!

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LuLu 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't these children come from food stamp homes? So aren't we already providing their meals through our taxes? Maybe the dropoff in the summer program is because the parent/guardian has to BRING the child there. They're probably waiting for a taxpayer-funded bus to come along and pick them up.

Here's a novel idea -- If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em!

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

But then they couldn't get that welfare check and would have to get a job. They can't have that! It's about them, to h$ll with the child, could care less about them,..."Just gimme dat guvment check."

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waltspecht 1 year, 9 months ago

Time to feed these folks out of actual Farm Surplus. Provide the commodities like they used to, not cash. This is the program that got Arlington in trouble isn't it? Now if it were just commodities, they could be fed. However if you understand anything about the way Farming vegetables works, you would know the big buyers follow the crops North, often leaving Farmers to plow down crops. Now if those crops could be economocally harvested and supplied to these food banks. The Farmers would have additional income, the Kids would eat fresh vegetables. Maybe, they could learn to cook and can them. A skill that might serve them well later in life.

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TheTruthIsOutThere 1 year, 9 months ago

So they can't afford to feed the kids but they can use their cell phone to text to find out where the free food is? This is probably from a cell phone that us taxpayers are footing the bill for.

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