Free breakfast, lunch offered

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Katie Lambert took advantage of the free lunch program last year. | File photo

Local parents don’t have to worry about their children going hungry this summer, if they take advantage of a free breakfast and lunch program offered 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 children and teens in the county.

It is designed to curb hunger and fill the nutrition gap that school-aged children could potentially face in the summer months without free and reduced-price school lunch programs.

While there is no fee and no financial requirements, students are required to eat the meals at the facility where they are provided.

“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.”

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

“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.”

The program, which will be held at Andalusia Middle School, has been in place for more than 15 years.

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

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. until 12:30 p.m.

Menu selections will 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 requested for small children.

To schedule a large group or for more information, call 334-222-6379.