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Summer feeding program under way

July 04, 2010|By DAN DEARTH
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WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A federally funded program that provides free breakfasts and lunches to school-aged children is being offered at more than 30 sites this summer in Washington County.

Sherry Neil, deputy director of the Washington County Community Action Council, said the Maryland Summer Meals Program began June 14 and will last until Aug. 6.

She said those ages 5 to 18 are eligible to participate in the program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The program serves about 600 children each summer, according to Neil.

"Some of those children might not be getting a nutritious meal at home," Neil said. "This is to make sure they're getting a nutritious breakfast and lunch at least five days a week."

The sites are chosen based on their proximity to schools that serve 50 percent of their students free or reduced-price meals. All the children have to do to receive a meal is show up, but the times vary from site to site.

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Neil said the Community Action Council distributes meals at eight sites in Hagerstown.

Washington County Public Schools also runs a Maryland Summer Meals Program at 23 schools for children who are attending classes this summer, said Jeffrey Proulx, supervisor of food and nutrition services for Washington County Public Schools. Those meals are only available to children who are enrolled in summer school.

Proulx said the meals are prepared at Northern Middle and South Hagerstown High schools and shipped to sites across the county, including the ones operated by the Community Action Council.

Washington County Public Schools provided about 1.74 million free breakfasts and lunches, and 384,000 other meals at a reduced price during the 2009-10 academic year, Proulx said.

He said the total cost, including the labor of food-service workers, is anticipated to be about $9.8 million.

To learn more, call the Washington County Community Action Council at 301-797-4161.

Community Action Council food sites in Hagerstown:



o Boys & Girls Club, 805 Pennsylvania Ave.

o Elgin Station, 38 Elgin Blvd.

o Frederick Manor, 219 Taylor Ave.

o Hellane Park (pavilion), 155 Park Ave.

o Noland Village, 148 Noland Drive

o Pangborn Park (pavilion), Pangborn Boulevard

o The Salvation Army, 534 W. Franklin St.

o Wheaton Park (pavilion), 124 Charles St.

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