South Charleston students to enjoy free meals this summer

June 13, 2013 by  

This summer, students in South Charleston and towns across the state will have the chance to learn more about nutrition and enjoy healthy, regular meals. The Summer Food Service Program, sponsored by the state’s Department of Education and funded by the US Department of Agriculture, will provide free meals to students.

Nearly 60% of students in West Virginia rely on the free or reduced price lunch program. While the program provides a healthy lunch to students when school is in session, students are usually left to fend for themselves during the summer.

The goal of the program is to make sure children continue to have access to nutritious food, even when school is out. Around 13,000 West Virginia students benefited from the program last summer.

In Charleston, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club is taking the program one step further. In addition to providing free meals, the club is also providing lessons on nutrition and helping children plant a vegetable garden.

Parents of children need to fill out an application for some of the programs, and are also required to verify their income. The state can make use of stationery printers to provide printed applications to parents. Although an application is required for certain programs, there are also open food service programs. Children are welcome to drop by the open programs and pick up a hot meal, even if they have not applied.

The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club program is currently full, but is taking names for a waiting list. A number of other programs still have openings.