Local school systems keeping kids, teens fed during summer

Avery Morgan (left), 6, and Hadley Kelly, 6, both students at Lone Oak Elementary, walk through the lunch line in the school's cafeteria Wednesday in Paducah. During the summer months, Paducah and McCracken County school districts feed their students and others who are food-insufficient with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program. Meals are also free to anyone 18 or younger regardless of income.

ELLEN O'NAN | The Sun

With funding from a federal program, the Paducah and McCracken County school districts are able to feed their students and others who are food-insufficient.

Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program, which reimburses school districts and others that provide free, healthy meals to children and teens in low-income areas throughout the summer. The program was created in 1968, and this is the 50th anniversary of its implementation.

State agencies administer the program, and sponsors -- like the school districts -- enter into an agreement with the state agencies to run the program.

"It's a different grant than the actual school lunch," said Sara Jane Hedges, McCracken County director of food services. "Districts that do participate in summer feed have to apply for it, but it is funded by the same (federal department)."

Hedges added that its program helps 500 children and teens each day.

Both school districts provide breakfast and lunch weekdays to those who fit the age parameters.

Both schools provided food throughout June and some have continued this month at several locations throughout the county. Meals are free to anyone 18 or younger regardless of income, and participants have to eat the meals at the site.

Paducah Independent Schools' department of food services has 12 locations within the city providing breakfast and lunch through July 31. Those locations and times are:

• Anderson Court, 801 N. Eighth St., breakfast 10:10 to 10:30 a.m., lunch 1:45 to 2:10 p.m.

• Cardinal Point, 2741 Trimble St., breakfast 8 to 8:20 a.m., lunch 11 to 11:20 a.m.

• Dolly McNutt Apartments, Bridge Court, breakfast 9:30 to 9:55 a.m., lunch 12:35 to 12:55 p.m.

• Dudley Court, 801 McGuire Ave., breakfast 9:40 to 10 a.m., lunch 11:35 to 11:55 a.m.

• Ella Munal Community, 2010 Hendricks St., breakfast 9:05 to 9:25 a.m., lunch 12:05 to 12:25 p.m.

• Elmwood Court, 2330 Ohio St., breakfast 8:30 to 8:50 a.m., lunch 11:30 to 11:50 a.m.

• Highland Terrace Apartments, 1110 Old North Friendship Road, breakfast 8:50 to 9:10 a.m., lunch 1:15 to 1:30 p.m.

• Langstaff Park, 1312 Langstaff Ave., breakfast 8 to 8:15 a.m., lunch 11:15 to 11:30 a.m.

• North Friendship Trailer Court, Lot 61, 2655 North Friendship Road, breakfast 9:15 to 9:30 a.m., lunch 12:45 to 1 p.m.

• Oscar Cross Boys and Girls Club, 2956 Park Ave., breakfast 8:20 to 8:40 a.m., lunch noon to 12:30 p.m.

• Paducah Middle School, 342 Lone Oak Road, breakfast 8:30 to 9:15 a.m., lunch 11:30 to 12:15 p.m.

• Robert Coleman Park, 10th and Caldwell streets, lunch only, 1:10 to 1:30 p.m.

McCracken County Schools' department of food services serves breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to noon at Heath Elementary, Lone Oak Elementary, Lone Oak Intermediate and Reidland Elementary schools through July 26.

This is the sixth year for the McCracken County School District to have the program, while it's the fourth year for PISD to have the summer feeding program.

Paducah Tilghman High School cafeteria manager Lisa Fox said their program helps 1,500 to 2,000 children and teens each year.

"Those of us working in the cafeterias through the school years see so many children who don't eat, even from the weekend," she said. "They'll come in on Monday mornings, and they haven't eaten all weekend. A lot of times, they're home by themselves and they might not know how to cook.

"This way, we know they get a good meal."

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