Due to COVID-19, the program will operate differently but will still have the same mission, to provide nutritious meals to children who are food insecure when school meals are not available.
(Madison, Ind.) - River Valley Resources, in coordination with the IDOC of Madison and Aramark food services is happy to announce that Summer Meals for Kids will begin food service to the children, 18 years and under, of Jefferson County.
For 8 years the program has operated to feed children during the months of June and July while school is not in session. Due to COVID-19, the program will operate differently but will still have the same mission, to provide nutritious meals to children who are food insecure when school meals are not available.
Summer Meals for Kids will operate this year beginning on June 1, 2020 and concluding on July 31, 2020 with days of operation being Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Monday and Wednesday two meals will be distributed and one on Friday. They will be served using a Grab and Go method where children or their parents/guardians pick up meals to take home for consumption.
In years past, children were required to congregate and share the meal with the supervision of volunteers and Site supervisors. Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, participants will not be gathering for lunch, games, and fellowship. They will be permitted to take the food home.
Lucy Dattilo, the Program Director, reports that while this is very different from previous years it allows the program to continue in a safe manner until things return to a “new normal”. Dattilo stated, “when much of the world came to a screeching halt, one thing did not change. Children still were hungry and needed to be fed.
Many families in Jefferson County continue to struggle and need help to make ends meet. Our program fills a gap created when kids do not attend school providing nutritious meals that give kids energy to enjoy their summer days.”
Summer Meals for Kids will be carrying on the work that has been going on since March in Jefferson County. Lide White Boys and Girls Club, Canaan Academy, Madison Schools, and Southwestern Schools have been distributing food through the Indiana Department of Education meal programs.
These programs have either provided pick up service or traveled into neighborhoods meeting families at a designated site. Dattilo and Tina Jones, the SMK volunteer coordinator, have been working hard to put people in place to serve the huge need caused by the current, ongoing pandemic. There are four Site Supervisors and 200 volunteer time slots filled by area churches and local industry.
There will be 14 sites which will be attached to this release and will be made available on the River Valley Resources and Lide White Boys and Girls Club website and Facebook Pages. No identification is required but participants should only go to one site per day.
This program is USDA funded in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Education nutrition program and follows all Civil Rights guidelines.
The schedule for the meals is as follows: