Meals program expands as LCPS adds summer academic camps
Vanessa Bright serves lunch recently in the Northeast Elementary School cafeteria to summer campers taking part in LCPS’s Summer Food Service Program. Between students enrolled in LCPS summer academic camps and youngsters attending camps sponsored by participating nonprofits, the district’s Child Nutrition Department expects to service about 40,000 free breakfast and lunch meals at four school sites during July. Photo and story by Patrick Holmes / LCPS Public Information Officer
The more than 3,700 free breakfast and lunch meals served up through Lenoir County Public Schools’ Summer Food Service Program will look like a mere appetizer compared to the July numbers now that the program has hit full speed.
The school district’s Child Nutrition Department, which manages the USDA-funded program, has expanded by two the number of sites serving free meals as LCPS has geared up to its full complement of summer academic programs.
The addition of Moss Hill and Pink Hill elementary school cafeterias, plus an increase in the number of students attending academic camps at Northeast Elementary and Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School – the two sites opened in late June – has boosted the number of meals served to about 2,200 a day – or nearly 40,000 for the month.
The Summer Food Service Program primarily serves students enrolled in LCPS’s TFA Summer School, Read to Achieve Camp and English Learners Camp and elementary and middle school-age youth attending STEM Summer Camps. Additionally, the program serves youth attending summer camps sponsored by local nonprofits, such as
“Our summer feeding program is off to a great start," Chrissie Chadwick, assistant director of the Child Nutrition Department, said. "We are very pleased with the number of children we have been able to feed so far and expect participation to increase throughout the month of July.
“The partnership between LCPS and local churches and civic organizations allows us to reach hundreds of hungry children each day. Being able to provide healthy meals to kids during the summer months is a true pleasure for the Child Nutrition Department.”
About 20 employees of the department are involved in the program this summer.
Under Federal School Nutrition Program guidelines, free breakfast and lunch are available to all youth 18 or younger. All meals meet federal nutrition guidelines.
The cafeterias at Contentnea-Savannah, Northeast, Moss Hill and Pink Hill will operate as part of the summer program until Aug. 2. The Northeast site is open each weekend, while the others operate from Monday through Thursday.