A program aiming to provide kids with nutritious meals through the summer has returned again, with four locations in St. Francois County offering free lunches.
The Summer Food Service Program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture through the local efforts of the East Missouri Action Agency. Agency Program Coordinator Shanna Yount said the program’s focus is to supplement the nutrition of youth up to the age of 18, or 21 for disabled individuals still enrolled in a school program.
“The agency has been doing this for years,” Yount said. “Right now, we have sites in St. Francois County, Washington County and Cape Girardeau County. Sites are eligible based on the free and reduced school meals in the area.
“Last year, with all of those sites, we served over 17,000 meals. Every year, it increases a little bit more.”
The free lunches are available Monday through Friday at the following locations:
At Bonne Terre City Park, located at North Long and West Desoto Streets, lunches are served from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m., with the site operating from June 4 to July 27.
At Desloge City Park, located at Parkside and Walnut Streets, lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to noon, from June 4 to July 27.
At Columbia Park in Park Hills, located at Strauss and Main Streets, lunch is served from noon to 1 p.m., with the site operating from June 4 to July 25.
At Mineral Area College’s North College Center, breakfast is served from 7:50 to 8:20 a.m. and lunch is served from 12:05 to 12:30 p.m. The MAC site is open until July 10.
In Washington County, lunch is available at Mineral Point Head Start, located at 512 State Street in Mineral Point from noon to 12:30 p.m.
Meals will be unavailable at all sites on July 4.
Yount said children do not need to register or pay any kind of fee — they can simply show up at the designated sites and times and receive a free meal.
According to the USDA’s website, the department plans to serve more than 200 million meals across the nation this summer
For more information about the Summer Food Service Program, contact East Missouri Action Agency Program Coordinator Shanna Yount at 1-800-392-8663, extension 1137.