ELIZABETHTOWN — Weekdays this summer, a couple of hundred kids will eat meals at Moriah Central School, provided by the Summer Food Service Program.
More children will do the same at other Essex County locations.
The program, offered through Essex County Community Resources, makes free meals available for youths ages 18 and younger, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
Some meals are served at open sites, where any child qualifies and no signup is required. That’s because those school districts have a high rate of poverty, said Vanessa Cross, a program coordinator with Community Resources.
Other locations are labeled “closed,” which means all the participants have to enroll ahead of time through their town. At least half of those participating must meet the income guidelines for reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, Cross said.
“We’ve been pretty successful getting (kids qualified) for free and reduced (meals) to sign up, though,” she said.
Children qualify automatically if they belong to households that receive food stamps or benefits under the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.
Some sites serve breakfast and lunch, others just the midday meal. Summer recreation programs at every location bring the kids there, where they benefit from both the healthy activity and meals, Cross said.
Breakfast is served 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:15 Monday through Friday, July 5 through Aug. 10, at CVES, Plank Road, Mineville, and Moriah Central School, 39 Viking Lane, Port Henry.
Meals are served Monday through Friday, July 2 through Aug. 10 at: Bloomingdale Fire House, lunch only, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Petrova Elementary School, 79 Canaras Ave., Saranac Lake, breakfast, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., and lunch, noon to 1 p.m.; Noblewood, Lake Shore Road, Willsboro, lunch, 11 a.m. to noon; and Crown Point Central School, Main Street, breakfast, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., and lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cross estimated that about 50 children benefit from the meals at CVES in Mineville, as many as 80 at the Saranac Lake location, about 20 in Bloomingdale and 70 or so in both Crown Point and Willsboro.
“Quite a few kids,” she said.
For more information, call 873-3632.
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