Summer food programs help feed students

School is out for summer, but the cafeteria at Mayfield High School isn’t empty. The district is participating in the federal summer food program, and Nutrition Director Leah Holland said it may be the only good meal students get all day.

“There are many kids that benefit from the program because they are not going to receive a breakfast or a lunch at home during the summer,” Holland told Local 6.

Students under 18 from any district in any state can get a free meal the high school or elementary school. The district has seven feeding sites and Holland said there are plans to add more. “Not only is there a need for children to receive a meal, but a nutritious meal,” she said.

The summer food program goes beyond offering meals to elementary, middle and high school students. The Murray-Calloway County Needline provides food to Murray State students.

“We don’t want to see anyone hungry, most especially out visiting students,” Need Line Director Tonia Casey said.

She said the new Racers Helping Racers programs is working. Students who need food can get it at an on-campus pantry. “When we know someone needs food, send them to the local food banks. That’s what we are here for,” Casey said.

Casey said Need Line receives about 1,000 new applicants a month. She said Need Line and the summer food programs are really the only options parents have when they are working just to keep the lights on.

“The first few weeks the child is out of school, the parents are pretty prepared. But after they are out of school for a week or so, the groceries start getting low,” Casey said.

To look for a summer food program near you, click here.

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