Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TOP STORY >> Kids eat on summer breaks

Leader staff writer

Area school districts are making sure children have balanced nutritious meals this summer, during the weekdays.

They are reimbursed by the federal government for meals eaten at serving locations.

Beebe and Cabot Public Schools will serve lunches to students in the school district through Aug. 7. Meals are provided at no charge to all children 18 years old and younger.

In Cabot, adults will be provided a free sack lunch or can purchase a hot meal for $3.


At the Primary Cafeteria, breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Hot lunches are served from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Students who cannot make it to the school can pick up a sack lunch from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at Edward Lunnie Park behind Mount Arratt Baptist Church on East Oklahoma Street.

Meals are available from 11:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Monday at Antioch Community Church, noon to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Floyd United Methodist Church, 11:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday at McRae City Park and noon to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at El Paso Cowboy Church.

Sack lunches include a sandwich, a veggie, fruit, chips and milk.

Paulette Anderson of Beebe brought her grandchildren to Lunnie Park for them to pick up sack lunches.

“It is a good program. They get a kick out of coming down here,” she said.


Lunches are served 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to noon on Friday at Ward Central Elementary and Westside Elementary. Cabot Public Schools sponsors this lunch program.

Around 150 lunches are served at each site.

Cabot has offered summer lunches for five years, and food services director Erin Wilkes said the demand is decreasing.

A grandmother on a fixed income who is raising four grandchildren brought them to Ward Central on Friday.

“It is a good program. During the school year, they are on free and reduced lunches. This really helps with food costs,” she said.

The grandmother added that, if the program was not available, the grandchildren would be having a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter sandwich.

“I would like to see more fresh fruits and vegetables offered. I know a lot of kids won’t eat them, but one or two carrot sticks or broccoli spears, or little salads with ranch dressing, and less breaded and fried items,” she continued.


The Lonoke summer meal program has ended. It ran in conjunction with summer school.

Food services director Elen Smith said the average number of children who were served breakfast was 25 and 45 students had lunch.


The Pulaski County Special School District offered summer meals during summer school. The program ended Thursday.

“But,” said Deb Roush, spokesman for the district, “we have coupled with a number of churches and other organizations to help students during the summer.”

She said, if families need assistance, they should call the district’s Office of Student Equity at 501-234-2020 and the district would then put them in contact with a group that could help.

Roush also said the district is gearing up for its back-to-school events where the district, once again through various partnerships, will provide backpacks and school supplies to those in need.


The Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club serves about 200 meals — breakfast and lunch — daily to area children. “You don’t have to be a member for the meals,” said Laura Walker, the club’s director. She added that Victory Praise and Worship Church provides the meals.

Meals will be served until school starts in mid-August.