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Ways kids can receive meals when school is out this summer

Typical items in a food bag that Park View Community Mission's Food for Thought program provides. (Credit: Mia Nelson/WSET){p}{/p}
Typical items in a food bag that Park View Community Mission's Food for Thought program provides. (Credit: Mia Nelson/WSET)

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School is out, but that can be a problem for families who depend on the meals their kids get at school.

There are some programs in the Lynchburg area working to bridge that gap between the school year and summertime.

At Park View Community Mission, Executive Director Todd Blake said their Food for Thought program provides food for kids during the school year and at several community locations during the summer.

"Summer breaks, spring breaks, things like that should be exciting for kids, but it can be scary if they're not certain where their food is going to come from if they're relying on those food sources during the school year. So we like to say that hunger doesn't take a summer break. So neither do we," Blake said.

He said they are meeting kids where they are this summer. Places like schools where summer classes are happening, community centers, and other places like Miller Park and the Jubilee Center.

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On Thursday of each week at their different locations, he said they give out food bags for kids to take home. He said these include seven food items and four snack items. He said once a month on Fridays they give out food boxes that include nonperishable food items.

Lynchburg Daily Bread is another place to go.

"Especially during the summer for kids, I know there's a lot of kids who are out of school and need food. So, this is going to be a great place for them," Laurel Hovey, the Director of Operations at Lynchburg Daily Bread said.

They serve meals year-round but starting next week, they'll be serving meals for kids at the Miller Park Pool through the end of the summer.

She added that they also give out kids' meals at Lynchburg Daily Bread which are provided by Electronic Design and Manufacturing (EDM). She said they are bags filled with snack items for those who show up with children.

Also, this is the 7th year that Lynchburg City Schools is participating in the Summer Food Service Program.

Director of School Nutrition, Beth Morris, said they have 21 feeding sites across the city.

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Some are at schools, but they're also partnering with community organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, the Diamond Hill and College Hill Community Centers, and Miller Park Pool.

She said the goal this summer is to keep kids happy and healthy and meet their needs.

"I think an essential need of our children here in Lynchburg is to have food security and that's what we're here to bridge that gap between the school years," Morris said.

Morris said the program is available to all children 18 years and younger at no cost for the meals. She also said this program is not exclusively for Lynchburg City School students.

Morris said last summer they were serving around 1200 students a day and this year she anticipates they'll serve just as many or more.

She added that there's no registration, you really just have to come to one of their sites to receive the meals.

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