Lunch is still served: Summer meals programs target student food insecurity

The lunch bell will continue to ring  through the summer, as student food insecurity remains a...
The lunch bell will continue to ring through the summer, as student food insecurity remains a focus across the region.(WYMT)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 8:26 PM EDT
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EASTERN KENTUCKY (WYMT) - As schools begin to ring the final bells, sending students out for summer, programs are popping up to target food insecurity concerns across the region.

According to a Feeding America study, “In 2019, approximately one in seven children under the age of 18 in the U.S. lived in a food-insecure household, representing 10.7 million children.”

A recent study from America’s Health Rankings found only 69.8% of children under the age of 18 in Kentucky are considered “food sufficient,” meaning more than 30% of children and their families could not “always afford to eat good, nutritious meals” over a two-year estimate. Those circumstances, experts say, were only made worse by the pandemic and are present in the majority of Eastern Kentucky’s counties.

“Schools have long been an access point for food assistance for children, teens, and their families,” the Feeding America study said.

With a desire to meet those needs here in the mountains, schools and other organizations are working to bring back summer meal programs to keep lunch on the menu, even through the vacation months. And though officials with Feeding Kentucky’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign told WYMT last month they expect this year’s offerings to look a bit different than in years past, there are still efforts underway to ease the burden in a community near you.

A list of those programs, by respective area, can be found below:

City of Corbin

  • Corbin Independent Schools Summer Food Service Program is offering meals in several locations, but eliminating the usual pool site this year.
LocationBreakfastLunch
Vanbeber Apartments10:20 - 10:40 a.m.Noon - 12:30 p.m.
8th Street Apartments10:20 - 10:40 a.m.Noon - 12:30 p.m.
Rotary Park Shelter11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.12:50 - 1:20 p.m.
Madison Street Apartments11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.12:50 - 1:20 p.m.

Floyd

Lawrence

  • Lawrence County Public Library Summer Feeding Program
  • Lawrence County Schools Seamless Summer Option open to children, ages 1-18, through June 14. The district offers free breakfast and lunch between the hours of 11 a.m. and noon at Blaine, Fallsburg, and Louisa Middle. Families can rely on any of the schools, regardless of the school their student attends during the academic year.

Morgan

Owsley

Pike

  • Community Meals available Monday through Friday in Pikeville.
    • Monday- Grace Fellowship Community Kitchen
    • Tuesday- FaithLife Market
    • Wednesday- East Kentucky Dream Center
    • Thursday- Grace Fellowship Community Kitchen
    • Friday- East Kentucky Dream Center.
  • Pikeville Independent Schools: Grab-n-Go breakfast and lunches for multiple days are up for grabs to anyone 18 years old and under, available Thursdays at Pikeville Elementary School, from 10 a.m. until noon. This will be available June 2, June 9, June 16, and June 23. “Children do not have to be present for meal pickup.”

Whitley

  • Williamsburg City School officials ask students who want to participate in its program to call the school at (606) 549-6044.

We will add to this list as program information is provided. If your family is searching for a program somewhere in the WYMT coverage area that is not included in the list, contact your local school district for program information. If you are involved with a program that could be added to this list, send that information to Buddy.Forbes@WYMT.com.

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