FORSYTH COUNTY — A local partnership is working throughout the summer to provide free meals to children in need.
Meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
“Often, students rely on the meals they’re served during the school day. Then summer begins, and those meals are gone,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “It’s unacceptable to us for any child to go hungry.
“These locations are a great resource for parents and students. And they do more than provide food. They’re helping students grow, physically and academically.”
According to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for Forsyth County school system, the University of North Georgia picks up meals daily from Cumming Elementary and serves them at the YMCA, 2210 Turner Road.
Meals are distributed from noon to 1:15 p.m.
Caracciolo said about 2,000 meals a week have been distributed so far.
The school district obtained shelf-stable, pre-packaged meals that meet the district’s pattern, as well as freshly made items.
The system has an 18 percent rate of enrolled students on free/reduced lunch, Caracciolo said.
UNG is also distributing meals from the parking lot at Saxony Place Apartments, 101-103 14thSt., from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., as well as at Bald Ridge, which is at 105 Ridgeview Circle, from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.
These sites will operate through July 31.
Those 19 and older who have a mental or physical disability, as determined by an educational agency, and who participate in a school program for the mentally or physically disabled are also eligible.
In certain circumstances, pregnant women who receive Early Head Start services may be eligible if they are 18 or younger.
Nearby locations in other counties are also open. To find exact distribution sites, visit fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.