Program fights child hunger in four counties

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BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - The Kentucky Communities Economic Opportunity Council Community Action Partnership Summer Food Service Program provides two meals per day to kids ages 18 and under during the summer in Bell, Clay, Laurel and Knox Counties.

Hard times can lead to empty plates. Chanda Collins says she feeds her two boys as well as she can.

"I don't think that I have the financial means to make sure they receive a balanced meal three times a day," said Collins.

This summer, hunger pains can be felt by more children than just her two boys. Officials with Barbourville Independent Schools say 63% of students participate in the free lunch program during the school year. Parents say the KCEOC Summer Food Service Program gives these kids a healthy option for the summer.

"I sleep better because of this program," Collins said.

Community Action Partnership officials say they plan to serve 60,000 meals in the four counties by the end of the summer.

KCEOC officials say that all the food you can see behind me is expected to be served within the next week. They say they always focus on serving healthy food to the children of the area.

"Some of the foods these kids can afford are some of the cheaper foods which are junk foods and soda and sugary sweets and things. It's important to make sure they get nutritional value they need," said Brandy Crase, with Community Action Partnership.

KCEOC officials say they serve about 2,000 kids per day, which for some could be all they have.

"Without them I'm not sure what many of us would do and what many of my neighbors would do. We feel very blessed," said Collins.

As KCEOC officials hope that as many kids as possible feel full this summer. Community Action Partnership officials say the U.S.D.A. funds the summer food service program. The last day for the program is August 13th.

For more information, call 1-866-3HUNGRY or visit .

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