Free meals available for youth

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 4, 2010

During the entire month of June, children under 18 are being offered a free breakfast and lunch through the summer meals program in Andalusia.

The program, which is sponsored by the Andalusia City Schools System and funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, is available to all youth and teens within the county.

In years past, daily participation has ranged between 100 to 300 children.

“These meals are provided at no charge – they’re absolutely free to anyone under 18,” said Stephanie Dillard, ACS child nutritionist and program director. “They do not have to be enrolled as a student in the Andalusia school system.

“It can become quite expensive to feed children throughout the summer while they’re at home,” she said. “This program is a great alternative to that.”

Dillard said this program has been in place for more than 14 years and is hosted at the Andalusia Elementary School.

Breakfast, which consists of everything from fresh fruit and muffins to breakfast burritos, is offered from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Friday, beginning June 7 and ending June 30.

Lunch will be served daily from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

“Our lunch menu is very similar to the school lunch menu,” Dillard said. “We will have fresh fruit every day, too.”

Menu selections range from spaghetti to Sloppy Joes to sandwiches and sliced turkey and gravy.

Large groups, such as vacation Bible school groups, are welcome, Dillard said.

“The only thing is we ask that you call the day before and give us a head count,” she said. “We want to make sure there is enough food prepared and ready to go.”

Dillard said parental supervision is recommended for small children.

To schedule a large group or for more information, call 334-222-3588.

Katie Lambert takes advantage of the free lunch at AES Thursday. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News