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Programs provide free meals to NC students in summer

Posted June 24, 2011

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— About 800,000 children across North Carolina receive free or reduced-price lunches during the traditional school year, but only about 67,000 continue to receive those meals in the summer.

Ministers Outreach Tabernacle church in Henderson is one of more than 600 sites across the state where free meals are available to kids who, at school, would receive free or reduced-price lunches.

lunch, students, apple Summer programs feed needy kids

“It’s wonderful, because a lot of kids don’t have the meals and some of them don’t even have the love,” said parent Lisa Maldonado.

About 50 children come to Ministers Outreach for several hours each day. They do activities, such as arts and crafts, throughout the morning and get lunch before returning home.

“It’s a necessity for our area. We have a lot of unemployment,” said Eugenia Terry, program director at Ministers Outreach.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ officials say there are programs like this in 70 of the state's counties.

“It’s great food, and you can have lots of fun here,” said Jordan Hawkins Jr., 10.

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  • bigpinkstork Jun 30, 2011

    What did we ever do before WIC, welfare, housing, non profit give aways and free lunches year around no less... ALL on backs of tax payers? How where we ever able to survive and become adults with out entitlements and the government?

    Well, a lot of people grew up hungry. Ask anyone over 60 if they knew kids who regularly went hungry growing up. Chances are, they can tell you what it was like for the children of the poor before food stamps and other feeding programs.

  • SmokeWagon Jun 29, 2011

    What did we ever do before WIC, welfare, housing, non profit give aways and free lunches year around no less... ALL on backs of tax payers? How where we ever able to survive and become adults with out entitlements and the government?

  • bigpinkstork Jun 29, 2011

    Should their so-called parents feed them, either with wages or with food stamps? Of course. Will they? Not always. This program would not be necessary in an ideal world, but this world is far from ideal. My tax dollars go for plenty of things less worthwhile than feeding children.

  • tewc Jun 28, 2011

    I totally agree bettyboopr2 - Most use this system as a way of life not a stepping stone as it was intended, but we can thank our elected officials for that too!!!!!!!!!!

  • punzelda Jun 27, 2011

    People who have replied to this with negative comments about this program taking tax money, I realize everything has to be put into terms you can understand.

    Imagine that every road you drive to work on is crowded with people begging for food. When you stop at lights, your car is surrounded by people begging. Imagine large groups of hungry women and children begging outside corporate buildings, restaurants, shops, and malls. You must walk through them as you enter and leave--they're at every entrance.

    Or, these programs, which take less than a dollar a year of your tax money, can feed them. Which inconveniences you more?

  • archangel44369 Jun 27, 2011

    Children are our heritage. Feed them, clothe them, nurture them and teach them to be self supporting.

  • myjudas Jun 24, 2011

    This is what taxes should be spent on FIRST. Whatever is left over can go to the military or the paychecks of elected officials, but feeding, educating, housing, and clothing children should be our number one priority.

  • ICTrue Jun 24, 2011

    Charity is great...as long as no tax dollars are involved.

  • bettyboopr2 Jun 24, 2011

    Unfortunately, one can stretch their food stamps further on the junk than on nutritious foods.

    Well what a shame one can only stretch their tax payer food stamps further on junk. I work 40+ hrs a week and can barely afford the generic foods. So when I see people with buggies full of name brand foods good cuts of meat and then pull out that stupid card that I help pay for it makes me mad.

  • woodliefv Jun 24, 2011

    I am a teacher, and if you have never seen a hungry child. Well good for you. These babies come to school hungry all the time. They can not help that. I am so glad for everyone willing to help with this project. Bless them all!!

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