Food program prepares daily mealsPublished 8:33pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011
By Alison McFerrin
The Selma Times-Journal
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but the 2011 Summer Food Service Program is promising just that.
“The program is designed to serve students who need a lunch during the summer,” Summer Food Service Program Administrator Krystal Dozier said.
People age 18 and younger can get a free lunch every day during the summer. Lunches are available at 22 locations throughout Selma, and Jerry Smith, program director, said it’s just a way to fill the gap.
“There are a lot of kids that, this is the only meal they get a day,” Smith said.
Mayor George Evans said he thinks it’s a great program for kids whose parents work during the day, who might not be able to get a midday meal otherwise.
The program is a partnership between the city of Selma and the Selma city schools, Smith said, and is sponsored by the USDA. Dozier said participating sites contacted the city of Selma, and pre-operational work, like visits from the Health Department, was completed before the summer began.
“It’s an eight-week program, and the lunches are prepared at Payne Elementary School, and they are distributed to the different sites,” Dozier said. “They always get a milk, always get a juice, always get a piece of fruit.”
The cold lunches also include things like sandwiches and chocolate pudding cups. Dozier said that although many of the distribution locations feed children as part of summer programs, students are not required to be in any programs to get a free lunch.
“It is for community children; it’s not for programs only,” Dozier said. “(They can) come whenever they want to. It’s not a sign up thing. It’s open to the public and they can go to any site that’s near them and receive their free lunch.”
And since the program began Monday, people have grabbed the opportunity.
“Right now we’re right at about 1200 a day, and normally it gets up to about 1500,” Smith said, adding that he has seen the program serve up to 1700 lunches per day in the past.
Meals must be consumed on site and are available every day this summer from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the locations listed below:
Tabernacle of Praise
Byrd Elementary School
Chanticleer Apt. Rec. Center
Clark Elementary School
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Edgewood Elementary School
Ellwood Community Church
Felix Heights Center
Knox Elementary School
Macedonia Community Development Center
Payne Elementary School
Police Athletic League
S. P. Kingston Elementary School
School of Discovery
Selma High School
Selma Middle School
Tabernacle Baptist Church
Trinity Lutheran School
Valley Creek Center
Wallace Community College
Free lunch is available at these locations from 11 a.m. to noon until July 29.