(GREENE COUNTY) - The summer food program for children 18 and under has expanded from two locations to five locations throughout the county.
"The need (for expansion) is very obvious in Greene County with the number of children who qualify for free and reduced lunches in the schools," volunteer Cindy Hale explained.
Sabrina Westfall, of the Greene County Daily World reports, the state sponsored Summer Food Program through the USDA is locally overseen by Son Ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization through the Linton Community Food Pantry.
The Summer Food Program will last from May 29 to Aug. 9 -- excluding July 4 -- and be open Monday through Friday, noon to 1 p.m. at the west shelterhouse in Linton's Humpheys Park, Lyons Community Building, Bloomfield First Christian Church, Worthington Community Building in the park, and the Lawton Street Christian Church in Jasonville.
"They are all planning on having some sort of activities from 12:30 to 1:30 each day," Hale noted.
She added the Bloomfield location intends on having a Friday movie, and some are considering contacting local fire and police departments to set up programs.
Hale said last year, the average between the Linton and Lyons locations was about 50 children per day, but sometimes reached up to 100 children.
"This is for all kids 18 and under. There is no qualifying level. I have had some people think it was based on income level," Hale said.
She added churches and community organizations are making efforts to offset any additional costs so no one is turned away, including adults.
"If any gardeners or farmers are interested, we will accept fresh produce. The kids love that," Hale said.
Donations can be dropped off at the site, or monetary donations can be sent to Linton Community Food Pantry, attention Summer Food Program, 440 E Street NE, Linton, Ind. 47441.
Hale said while each church and community organization has started recruiting volunteers, many more will be needed to help through the summer.
If interested in volunteering at Summer Food Program locations, call 211 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or contact Hale at 384-7456.
All potential volunteers will have a background check completed.
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