Even though school is out for the summer in Scott County, children can still stop by Scottsburg High School and the Scott County YMCA for a free, healthy lunch.
“It is important to provide a good, nutritious meal to those 18 and under in our community that may not otherwise have a good, nutritious meal,” said Dr. Marc Slaton, superintendent of Scott County School District 2. “We recognize during the school year the value and importance of breakfast and lunch, so this helps us extend the lunch to year-round which is good for our students.”
This week, Scott County kicked off the state’s Summer Food Service Program with a visit from Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, and state Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin.
“The connection between nutrition and learning is important. They go hand-in-hand,” Goodin said in a telephone interview on Friday. “Unfortunately, for some folks in our area they do not have three meals a day. By hearing about this program, maybe they will come to us, and we can help them.”
At Scott County District 2, the Summer Food Service Program is held from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at Scottsburg High School and the Scott County YMCA. Children ages 18 years and younger can receive a free meal, regardless of income. The program is held throughout the summer.
“The program is open from 12 to one, so when you come, you will go through the line, get your food, and hang out and eat. One stipulation of the program per the requirements of the state is that the food must be consumed at the summer feeding site,” Slaton said.
Nationally, the Summer Food Service Program was started to make sure children receive proper nutrition throughout the year, the state program website said. While the program has been around for several years at Scott 2, the school district took ownership of the program in the last year by providing food, preparing meals, and creating sites where children could come and eat during the summer months, Slaton said.
“It is an opportunity to get a good nutritious lunch,” Slaton said. “Also, if you meet your friends there or bring them with you, it is a chance to socialize with them as well.”