AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – When the last school bell rings, students look forward to enjoying free time. Now thanks to Aiken County School District they can also look forward to free meals.
Summertime fun can give way to hunger, but Aiken County Schools has a new program that is working to make hunger a distant memory.
“It’s called “Seamless Summer” and it’s a continuation of the school lunch program unto the summer months,” said Karen Johnson, Director of Food Services.
The school district provides a free breakfast and lunch.
Anjeanette Osbon-Clark says the program is really filling a gap for those in need.
“So many children are hungry especially in the summer months when their parents are working,” Osbon-Clark said.
Johnson says adults who are disabled can eat for free, as well as any student in the Aiken area 18 years old and younger, can come and enjoy the free meals. Parents can eat a meal with their child for $3.50 or less.
“And so to me this is awesome, because I can come to lunch with him everyday,” Osbon-Clark said.
“We can provide meals to children who may or may not have access to meals that they depend on during the school year,” Johnson said.
This is the first year for the USDA fully funded program. In the first two weeks more than 100 children were served for breakfast and more than 200 students received free lunch.
“There’s programs going on during the summer, and I try to have the meals available for those programs. Summer school, there’s athletes that are in some of the schools. So I try to make sure I have that available for those students,” Johnson said.
In order to participate in this food program, the areas where the meals are provided must have at least 50 percent of the student population who receive free or reduced meals during the school year. Five Aiken County schools qualify.
The free breakfast and lunch program runs from June 6 to July 28. The meals are available at Aiken Middle, Leavelle McCampbell Middle, Wagener-Salley High, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle & High, as well as Silver Bluff High School. Breakfast is served 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.