School district offers free meals to area students
Published 12:03 am Monday, June 29, 2015
NATCHEZ — The Spring term is over at Joseph L. Frazier Elementary, but the cafeteria is still buzzing.
Frazier is one of four permanent locations where students can receive a hot meal for free during the summer.
The other three locations are the LaGrange Community Center, Marilyn Heights Community Center and Natchez High School.
Email newsletter signup
Sandra Bruce, food service manager at Frazier, surveyed the scene in the cafeteria.
“I love my job,” she said. “I love to see the kids eat.”
Usually the cafeteria serves around 180 children a day from the community and programs such as summer school.
“At 11 o’clock we’re geared up and ready to go,” Bruce said.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday children were served a meal of nachos or pizza with corn, fruit and milk. It’s a fairly typical meal for the program, consisting of an entrée with fruits and vegetables on the side.
“Everything is very nutritional,” Bruce said.
Shantoura Spears, Natchez-Adams School District child nutrition supervisor, said the program’s goal was to provide an extra meal children might not get at home, and the program is open to all children ages 1-18.
“If you have a family member coming in from out of town that’s in that age range, it’s okay for them to come out and get something to eat,” Spears said.
Parents can purchase a meal to eat with their children for $3.50.
Shabilla Adams was there to get lunch for her three daughters, Sydni Adams, 6, Symari Adams, 5, and Symone Adams, 2.
Sydni and Symari will be attending Frazier when school resumes in the fall. Shabilla liked the idea of them getting acquainted with the new school, and that the program gives them something to eat.
“It’s a good thing because it’s less cooking the mother has to do,” Shabilla said.
Sydni chowed down on the meal of the day, choosing nachos and corn, although she preferred the school’s chicken.
“It was good,” she said, finishing her meal.
Of course, she likes coming to the school for another reason.
“My auntie’s here,” she said, referring to Deatric Curtis, the school’s bookkeeper.
Shabilla said they see her every time they come.
But it was Sydni’s younger sister, Symone, who showed the most enthusiasm.
“She ate her food and Symari’s food,” Shabilla said.
Symone’s enthusiasm meant that less food was left over when the family left, since all food must be consumed at the site.
But while Symone might have sampled the most plates, all three girls had smiles when they left.
The program runs through July 24, but is closed on July 6 due to the July 4 holiday.