Warren meals program provided fuel for summer activities

A growing number of kids have been eating lunch through Warren County Public Schools’ summer food service program.

SueAnn Fox, food and nutrition services coordinator for WCPS, said the program has fed about 150 children daily since schools let out for the summer. Any youth 18 or younger could come to E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School for lunch Monday through Thursday. Fox said the program saw 10 to 15 walk-ins each day.

“We wanted to make it so that any child who was hungry can come in and eat,” she said.

Parents could accompany their kids and eat with them for a few dollars, and Fox said the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. She said a good number of participating children were taking part in programs like School’s Out, the district’s 21st Century Learning program. Each meal served would be balanced and nutritious.

“We try to make sure there’s two fruits, two vegetables, milk, a grain … and then a protein,” she said. “It’s the same formula as the National School Lunch Program.”

Fox said E. Wilson Morrison hosts the program because the area qualifies it with a certain number of resident children who qualify for free and reduced meals.

In addition, the Warren County Backpack Program has provided backpacks full of meals to send home with kids on Thursdays — enough to feed their families for the weekend. Fox said donations gathered from groups like the Front Royal Rotary Club and a $6,500 annual contribution from Sodexo have helped to make that possible.

“The community has really rallied around this program and has been so, so generous,” she said.

The summer food service program ended Thursday in anticipation of the start of school on Aug. 15. Fox said the week in between gives children some breathing room before they head back to class for a new year.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com