Summer Food Program Expands
A free summer food program that served about 150 children last year gets underway this year July 6-30 at six county schools, tripling the number of serving sites from last year because of added funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The six serving sites are Long Drain School, Short Line School, Paden City Elementary School, Hundred High School, Valley High School, and Magnolia High School.
Any child age 18 or under is eligible for the free meals, which are served from 8-8:30 a.m. for breakfast and from 11:30 a.m.-noon for lunches, five days a week, with meals similar to the regular school lunch program.
Any adult may participate in the program for $3.30 for lunches and $2.50 for breakfast, which includes one half-pint of milk per meal.
The program was available last year only at LDS and SLS. However, added funding this year from ARRA will supplement basic money from the U. S. Department of Agriculture to absorb added expenses that usually are paid from Wetzel County School monies.
In addition, this year the Wetzel County School System will partner with the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Department to serve lunches only every Friday, beginning July 9, at the large shelter at Bruce Park.
Wetzel County Schools Program Coordinator Linda Barth estimates that the meal program will serve approximately 300 children this year. She also noted that about 50 percent of children enrolled in Wetzel County schools qualify for free or reduced meals during the regular school year, under criteria established by USDA.
The only restrictions on the program are that they must be eaten at the designated sites and the serving hours cannot be altered. The program is not available at New Martinsville School this year because of renovations being made to the school’s HVAC system.