The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

June 11, 2014

Nonprofit providing free lunches for students at Danville Middle School

DANVILLE — A program to give local children free lunches throughout the summer will be hosted at the Danville Middle School from June 18 to Aug. 14.

The summer lunch program is run through the Columbia/Montour Tapestry of Health non-profit organization. The free meals are open to anybody under age 18, according to Tapestry of Health director Amy Bolinsky. Adults can purchase a lunch for $5.

“There’s no questions asked, no forms that need to be filled out … They can just come in and get a lunch,” she said.

The lunches will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.

People can come as many days as they like while the program is open.

There are many needy families in the area that depend on the regular breakfasts and lunches provided by the school to feed their children during the day, Bolinsky said.

“The whole purpose of the summer food service program is to fill the gap of what school lunch would be providing to students over the year,” she said. “It really is designed to fill that nutritional gap during the summer months for kids who would be receiving free or reduced lunch.”

Last year, the program fed about 15 children per day. However, due to statistics given by the school district on free and reduced meals handed out, there are more kids out there in need of the service, Bolinsky said.

“The best way we find that individuals learn about this program is through word of mouth.”

The meals offered all follow health guidelines laid out by the school district and include a grain, fruit, vegetable, protein and milk. A sample meal might be chicken with a dinner roll with green beans and fruit as sides and milk to drink. This will be the first year the Danville school district will host the program. It had previously been held at St. Joseph’s Church. “Because of their school renovations, we were not able to use their facilities,” Bolinsky said.

Tapestry’s program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania’s Department of Education.

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