PRINCETON — A local library, school and volunteer organization offer summer feeder programs for kids to beat the heat and receive a free meal this summer.
Snack time at OC library
Oakland City-Columbia Township Public Library serves free snacks from 10 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday at the library until July 31.
Library Director Julie Elmore said this is the second year for the program, which started June 4.
Elmore said snacks like squeeze applesauce, cereal, fruit cups and muffins are available for children ages 18 and younger, and adults with disabilities.
“We try to keep them balanced, but still popular with the kids,” Elmore said.
Elmore said the program idea came when she thought about kids being at the library most of the day and needing a snack. She said some families don’t have the finances to afford additional meals during the summer.
“Anything we can do to get kids fed this summer, we’re happy to do,” Elmore said.
She said the opportunity also ties into the library’s summer reading programs to help children sharpen their reading skills.
“We encourage family reading,” Elmore said.
Elmore said the program is a partnership with Tri-State Food Bank.
Lunch in Princeton
Caring for Kids serves free lunches to Gibson County students from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday until Aug. 2.
Organizer Jeannie Robbins said lunch sites include Lafayette Park, St. Joseph School, Princeton Creek Apartments and the fire station on White Church Road.
Robbins said they decided to start the program “because children don’t have the opportunity to eat what the state considers a nutritious meal.” She added that the program offers an opportunity for parents to stay on budget and save on paying for lunch for two days.
She said the state sets the regulations for lunches to include grain, protein, fruit, vegetables and milk for a balanced diet.
“Some kids don’t like fruits and vegetables, partly because they haven’t been exposed to them,” Robbins said. She added she hopes children try the different fruits and vegetables.
Robbins said they’re also making sure to add kid-friendly foods like sandwiches and corn dogs.
Robbins admits that this year the program has been slower to start compared to previous years. “Maybe as summer goes on we’ll pick up more,” she said.
Robbins said it takes the volunteers of the community to make the program possible, and they are looking for more people to get involved.
For more information, call 812-779-6227.
Breakfast, lunch at WMHS cafeteria
East Gibson School Corporation, in collaboration with Aramark Food Service, provides free breakfast Monday through Friday, from 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Wood Memorial Junior High School cafeteria until June 29.
According to the feeding program calendar, lunch items can include grilled cheese, taco salad, chicken nuggets and pizza with fruits and vegetables. Breakfast includes cereal, muffin, milk, juice or fruit.
AFS Supervisor Allison Brewster said the meal is free for anyone younger than 18, and adults can pay $2 to eat.
Brewster said they have served up to 78 meals a day. “We’re pleased with this.”
In addition to eating, participants can also play ping pong, checkers and other games after their meal, or just stay inside to beat the heat. “It’s also a place to stay nice and cool.”
She said they will also give away prizes on random days to participants.
Brewster encourages everyone to come enjoy a breakfast and lunch at the cafeteria. She said the corporation sponsored the project, and they’ll be reimbursed by the state after the program ends.