Program to feed kids through month of June

Published 9:07 pm Friday, June 2, 2017

Hundreds of free meals will be served to children and teenagers in Selma and Dallas County every day throughout the month of June.

The meals will be provided by the Summer Food Service Program, which is sponsored by the Dallas County Commission. The program was started by the United States Department of Agriculture to help feed children while they are out of school for the summer.

Susan Wood, who directs the program for Dallas County, estimates around 400 meals will be served each day. The meals, which will be available at 10 different locations, are for children 18 years old and younger.

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“The whole purpose is just to provide a good, safe environment for these kids to come to during the day and provide a good nutritional meal,” Wood said.

Wood said each of the locations will be open for three hours each day to give children somewhere to hang out and take part in different activities.

“They’re providing a safe environment for the children to come, and there is usually recreational activities,” Wood said. “Some of it is church based, so you’re going to have some Bible school involved. I think one site is providing summer school.”

Meals will be served around 11 a.m. each day, and the sites will be open from either 8 a.m. until noon or 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“Some of [the sites] have even taught them sewing there. It just depends on where we are and what site it is,” Wood said.

Meals will rotate between four different types of sandwiches. They will also include fruit and vegetable and milk.

“We hope not, but this could be their only meal each day,” Wood said. “We want to make sure that they have a good meal in the middle of the day.”

Wood said Vaughan Community Health Service has also given them equipment to give out at each site like kickballs and footballs.

Wood has been with the program for 13 to 14 years and sees the benefit of having it.

“The kids are so much fun to be involved with over the summer. They get so excited when you come up,” she said. “They enjoy having different people coming and working with them and interacting with them. It’s a very, very good program, and without the commission it would not be possible.”

Meals will be available Monday through Friday June 5-30 unless otherwise noted:

*House of Prayer, 215 Selmont Ave., Selma, 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

*New Vernon CP Church, 7175 County Road 3, Marion Junction, 11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

*EM Brown Community Center, 263 County Road Junction 38, Minter, 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

*Keith Middle/High School, 1166 County Road 115, 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

*YMCA of Selma-Dallas County, 1 YMCA Drive, Selma, 11 a.m. to noon

*Tipton Gym, 2500 Tipton St., Selma, 11 a.m. to noon

*Sardis Unity Fellowship Center (Shiloh School), 6200 Highway 30, Sardis, 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

*Southside High School, 7975 U.S. Highway 80 East, Selma, 11:15 a.m. to noon (Monday through Thursday)

*Dallas County Resource Learning Center, 5570 Water Ave., Selma (Monday through Thursday)

*Safford Community Center, 1260 Alabama Highway 5, Safford