Summer Feeding Program extended for one more month

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Even though Columbus students are on summer break, many have been showing up at school.

The Columbus Municipal School District has been opening cafeterias for breakfast and lunch.

But some students’ families have been dealing with an extra burden this summer.

The Columbus School Board voted Monday morning to extend the school feeding program for another month.

Just one more step to recovery for families struggling from February’s tornado.

The storm has passed. Debris is being removed. Homes are being repaired.

But some damage is harder to see.

For families recovering from tornado damage, it may be challenging to provide meals throughout the day for their children.

“Some kids are still wandering around neighborhoods without food to eat,” said Director of Child Nutrition Mia Johnson.

Johnson said children are now able to receive free meals for the rest of the summer.

On Monday morning, Columbus Municipal School District voted “yes” to extend the Summer Feeding Program.

From July 1 through the 26, children up to 18-years-old can come to Stokes-Beard Elementary School for breakfast and lunch.

“All you have to do is come in and you get a good decent lunch. And that’s good enough for me and my little people,” said Lonnie Tuggle.

“This will probably be their only meal they’ll have and so we try to make it a healthy meal, a filling meal, a meal that can last them the next morning until we see them for breakfast,” said Johnson.

Greg Lewis is the Director of Columbus Recreation Department.

He has around 143 kids in his camp and a few are victims of the tornado.

“It shows compassion that the district has towards the children by extending this program. Because some of those children, not just the ones that are in our part of camp, some of these children walk over here and this may be the only nutritious meals that they receive during the day,” said Lewis.

And there’s no registration required to bring your child.

“Anytime people are displaced, it places a hardship on that family or individual, so anytime there’s a place you can get a free nutritious meal it’s always gonna be a benefit,” said Lewis.

Breakfast is served from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The program will be closed July 4 and 5 in observance of Independence Day.

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