Summer feeding program keeping area kids healthy, happy
Published 12:01 am Tuesday, June 10, 2014
NATCHEZ — Healthy lunches are on the menu this summer for local children during the summer feeding program provided by the Natchez-Adams School District.
NASD hosts the summer feeding program each year as a way of providing free healthy meals to school aged children during the months they are not in school.
Shantoura Spears, NASD child nutrition supervisor, believes that children should be given the chance to get healthy meals in the summer just like they would during the school year.
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“The most rewarding part (of the program) is feeding the children and providing them with a balanced meal,” Spears said.
The meals, free to children 18 and under, include an entree, such as pizza, chicken, hamburgers or spaghetti, a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables.
“We are following state guidelines and making sure the kids get their recommended servings of fruit, vegetables and whole wheat options,” Spears said.
Hope and Isaac Haygood visited the Natchez High School location Monday for the summer feeding program and enjoyed the lunch they were served.
“You can tell he likes it because his mouth is this big,” said Hope of her brother while holding her arms out as wide as she could.
Jerome Timmons grabbed a bite with his mom, Shante, and sister, Jasmine.
Jerome likes that he is offered healthy options for his lunchtime enjoyment.
“Healthy food is good for you. It can be tasty,” Jerome said while enjoying baked beans and an orange to accompany his hotdog. “I need to stay in shape because I’m on the baseball team.”
His mom, Shante Timmons, also enjoys taking her children to Natchez High School for the program and plans to do so at least twice a week for the remainder of the summer.
“It’s a way to get them out of the house,” Shante said.
Sandra Bruce has been working in the school district for nearly 22 years and has always enjoyed providing local children with a good meal.
“Some kids, when they’re not in school, don’t get a hot meal,” Bruce said. “I like getting to see the kids’ happy faces when they enjoy the meal.”
The summer feeding program is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through June 30 at Frazier Elementary School, Robert Lewis Magnet School, Broadmoor Community Center and LaGrange Community Center.
The program will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through July 15 at Natchez High School.
Adults accompanying children can purchase a meal for $3.50.