New Lexington initiative to help students eat during the summer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington is working to make sure that all kids have enough to eat this summer. Wednesday, Mayor Jim Gray announced the launch of Kids Eat Here, a new local initiative building on the federal Summer Food Service Program.

Partners in the Kids Eat Here program include Fayette County Public Schools, God’s Pantry Food Bank, Employment Solutions, Inc./Fresh Approach, and the city. “This initiative is all about leveraging resources to make sure no child goes hungry this summer,” said Gray. The city is spending $55,000 on the summer meals program this year.

The Kids Eat Here program will fill 8,000 backpacks with nutritious, kid-friendly food provided by God’s Pantry Food Bank and a flyer listing all the locations where children can eat breakfast and lunch this summer. The backpacks will be distributed by family resource officers throughout the school district.

“More than 40 sites across the city will serve free meals to kids in June and July,” said Stephanie Hong, Director of the Divison of Youth Services. “These meals are available to any child regardless of family income level.”
In addition to backpacks, the Kids Eat Here program will distribute 800 food boxes to needy families through local community centers. The boxes will assist families by supplying additional nutrition as they transition to summer break.

“The Food Bank is pleased to be part of a collaborative effort in Lexington to kick off the start of the Summer Food Service Program,” said Marian Guinn, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank. “During the summer, many children who typically receive free or reduced price meals through their school are left without this important source of meals. That’s why community partnerships such as Kids Eat Here are so vital to increasing children’s access to nutritious food through summer feeding sites.”

Nearly 21,000 children in Fayette County Public Schools students receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year.

“Kids Eat Here welcomes all children 18 and younger to come join us for meals throughout the summer. We look forward to seeing you soon,” said Michelle Coker, the district’s director of Child Nutrition.
Parents can learn more about the Summer Food Service Program locations by calling the FCPS Child Nutrition office at (859) 381-3846 or by visiting www.fcps.net/food.

Backpacks will contain: 2 single serving cereals, 2 small milks, 2 cereal bars, 2 applesauce cups, 2 Chef Boyardee meals, 2 juice boxes, 2 pudding cups.
Food boxes will contain: 4 Chef Boyardee meals, 2 juice boxes, 2 small & 1 large shelf stable milks, 1 pudding pack, 1 skillet meal, 1 jar of peanut butter, 1 can of chili, 1 bag of macaroni, 1 spaghetti sauce, 2 mac/cheese meals, 1 can green beans, 1 can applesauce, 1 can corn, 1 pancake mix, 1 box Kashi cereal, 1 box of cereal bars. Will add fresh potatoes and frozen meat where possible.


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