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Summer Food Program Kicks Off At Local Schools

Reported: May. 29, 2014 1:58 PM EDT
Updated: May. 29, 2014 4:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON W.Va. (Fallon Pierson) -- The summer food program kicks off this week at Elk Elementary Center.

It's a nationwide program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides hot, nutritious meals to kids during the summer at no cost to families.

For 25 years, Marlene Sizemore has been helping to feed kids during the summer, when it's hard for many children to get access to a hot meal.

"Well, I like to see the children to be fed," Sizemore said.

The program operates in areas where at least half of the kids come from families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level.

"We've fed hundreds of thousand of kids. It doesn't necessarily have to be economical. Those kids might still be hungry. In today's economy, even though you make a lot of money, your kids can still be hungry," Sizemore said.

The program also keeps kids healthy by meeting federal nutrition guidelines.

Diane Miller, executive director of child nutrition services for Kanahwa County Schools, said the school system "emphasized the fresh fruits and vegetables, usage of whole grains. We've tried to incorporate lower sodium, sugar, lower fat."

These cooks said they aren't just opening up packages and microwaving food, they are having fun with it.

"We were trying to think of a theme," MIller said. "It's Dive into the Summer Foods Program, and that's where our little dolphins to come from. I want the kids to feel welcome to come in the door and to enjoy their lunch."

Here is a list of the other schools and facilities where the program is being conducted this summer at these dates Monday through Friday:

* Bob Burdette Center (Emmanuel Baptist Church) June 2-June 27;
* Central Elementary, June 2-Aug. 1;
* Dunbar Intermediate, June 2-July 31;
* Elk Elementary, May 27-Aug. 1;
* Flinn Elementary, June 2-Aug. 1;
* Hillcrest Housing, June 23-Aug. 1;
* Kanawha City Community Center, June 23-Aug. 1;
* Metropolitan Baptist Church, June 2-June 27;
* Rand Community Center, June 23-Aug. 1;
* Riverside High School, June 9-June 26;
* Sharon Dawes Elementary, June 23-Aug. 1;
* Shawnee Playground, June 2-Aug. 1;
* South Charleston Housing, June 2-Aug. 1;
* St. Christopher Episcopal Church, July 14-July 18;
* Stonewall Jackson Middle, June 11-July 18



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