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Summer food program ensures nutritious meal

For the past several summers, children who live near the Picayune Municipal Separate School District have had access to the federally funded summer food service program.

This program was created to ensure children younger than 18 in low-income households continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer months.

Nutrition is key to every child’s development. Some children do not receive regular nutritious meals at home.

According to the U.S. Department of Numbers, Mississippi’s median household income in 2012 was $37,095, the lowest in the nation. The national average for the same year was $51,371. For single parents that income level drops even further. The median per capita income for the same year was $20,119, compared to the national average of $27,319.

For many children in the state, their school lunch may be their only hot, nutritious meal of the day.

By providing school lunches during the summer, these children are assured a hot meal each weekday.

Another positive aspect of this program is that it can provide sack lunches to Vacation Bible Schools. To participate, the church can contact the Picayune School District and speak with the food service director.

The summer feeding program at the Picayune Municipal Separate School District is open to every child, even if they attend another school district. Adults can also take advantage of the program, but they will be charged $3.25 for the meal.

The program will begin June 2 and end July 18. The only day the program will not be available during that time is on July 4 in recognition of the Fourth of July holiday.

Lunches will be served at South Side Elementary and Nicholson Elementary each day during the program from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

It is essential programs like these continue to ensure our children grow up strong.