Free meals target kids in need

Published 4:17 pm Monday, May 23, 2016

Children in Chilton County will have three separate options to get a free breakfast or lunch as part of a “Summer Feeding Program” on weekdays throughout the summer months.

New Convert Missionary Baptist Church has hosted a “Summer Feeding Program” for the past five years, and now the Chilton County Board of Education has also joined in with the federally funded program.

Jemison High School and Clanton Middle School will join New Convert in Maplesville to cover three separate areas in the county.

“We arranged it to be a pilot program for other churches in the area,” said Lee Grant, program coordinator at New Convert.

According to Grant, the food is provided by the state in “sack lunches” that include sandwiches and will include a piece of fruit on three of the five days each week.

New Convert will offer lunch from 11 a.m. to noon, but the day will start around 9 a.m. and include Bible study, tutoring and recreational activities that are also open to the public.

The programs at Jemison High School and Clanton Middle School will include breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

“It’s just another thing that the parents will not have to worry about this summer,” Rachels said.

Both programs will provide meals for school-age children roughly between the ages of 6 and 18 years old.

The program at the schools will begin on June 1 and continue until July 29, and closed on Fridays and July 4.

New Convert will host its program Monday through Friday starting June 6 and ending August 5, and will be closed July 4-8 for Independence Day.

Students from any school within the county and those surrounding are invited to take part in either of the programs.

“We don’t turn anyone down,” Grant said.

According to Rachels, Child Nutrition Program Director for the Chilton County School System, Jemison and Clanton were likely hosts because of the number of students that would already be around the school for Summer Credit Recovery or Driver’s Education.

“A high protein breakfast will be offered for athletes training at the schools,” Rachels said.

Kids can take advantage of the free meals during the designated periods or can take part in the daylong activities as in the case at New Convert.

At Jemison and Clanton, parents will have the opportunity to stay and eat with their kids for the cost of $2 for breakfast and $3 for lunch.

“We know that we’ve got kids in need, but now we just have to get them there,” Rachels said.