Chambers County School District providing free meals over summer break for kids under 18

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Poverty is such a widespread problem in Chambers County that many students rely on Chambers County School District’s summer feeding program to eat during the summer, said CCSD child nutrition director Donna Pike. This year’s free summer meals program will run weekdays from June 1 to July 22. It will be closed during the week of July 4, Pike said. Breakfast will be available to pick up at 8 a.m., and lunch will be available to pick up at 10 a.m.

“The meals are provided by Chambers County Board of Education,” Pike said. “We have to go through the state department to get permission to have this program … We’re operating at Eastside Elementary, Bob Harding-Shawmut, Huguley Elementary and Fairfax Elementary.”

Summer reading programs are occurring at these locations, Pike said. She believes parents were invited to enroll their kids in the programs through the mail.

Children have to be under 18 to get meals from the program but don’t have to prove their need. They can be from anywhere in Chambers County and don’t have to be enrolled in the CCSD.

“The lunches will be sandwiches and chips,” she said. “We are doing fresh vegetables and fresh fruit every day.”

Pike said that agencies outside of the school district such as Growth Academy, churches and daycares will come and get meals from CCSD in the summer.

“And we’ve also got four camps going on for the career tech center, or Inspire Academy,” she said. “We’ll be feeding those kids. Valley Police Academy, we’ll be feeding those kids.”

Pike said the free meals program is federal and that people involved in it had to undergo special training.