Local News

Programs provide free meals to NC students in summer

Posted June 24, 2011 1:20 p.m. EDT
Updated June 24, 2011 6:55 p.m. EDT

— 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.

“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.