Education

More News | |

Program feeds kids while school's out

  • Follow Education

It was a warm afternoon in Dogwood Terrace on Thursday with school out, not much to do and three kids to feed.

Back | Next
Children go through milk cartons during lunch. The Richmond County School System provides free lunch during the summer.   SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Children go through milk cartons during lunch. The Richmond County School System provides free lunch during the summer.

Tykeshia Williams didn’t want her kids sitting at home watching TV. And in the kitchen, the pantry was empty.

She tied three pairs of sneakers and walked her children to the Dogwood Terrace Community Center, where milk cartons, turkey sandwiches and crackers were waiting for them.

While school is in session, the Richmond County School System provides thousands of children with free or reduced-price lunch and free breakfast through the state-funded nutrition department. During the summer, the district offers an alternative so families that depend on the assistance aren’t left without options.

“It really helps in the summer,” Williams said. “During the school year, my fridge stays full. Now, during the summer, you should see it. They eat me out of house and home, so this helps
me out.”

The school system will provide free breakfast and lunch to children at 55 sites across the district. The Summer Food Service Program, funded by the Georgia Department of Early Child Care and Learning’s Bright From the Start, is free to all 18 and younger.

“First of all the economy is bad ... so this will help with the parents’ grocery bills,” said Josephine Mack, the school system’s nutrition director. “We have to provide for our children. This is to replace those meals that many students are used to during school time.”

Last summer, the system provided 4,000 total breakfasts and lunches per day through the program, Mack said. During the 2011-12 school year, the district served roughly 40,000 meals per day.

Several other agencies provide funding for feeding programs in Georgia. Lou Brienza, director of nutrition services for Bright from the Start, said Richmond County is one of the few school systems among the more than 100 agencies Bright from the Start reimburses for feeding programs.

Many school systems’ feeding programs are funded by the Georgia Department of Education, but however they are funded, Brienza said, summer food programs are vital for communities.

“This program is there to provide during that missing period of time,” he said.

Comments (15) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
germany57
42
Points
germany57 06/10/12 - 08:05 pm
13
5
why are we paying for this as

why are we paying for this as tax payers if the parents are getting food stamps to cover feeding their kids, here we go program after program of free and no need to think of paying for it just put it on the backs of the working people. When will we wake up and hold parents and adult people accountable for their actions and choices.

germany57
42
Points
germany57 06/10/12 - 08:11 pm
13
5
Tired of all the free hand outsat working peoples expence.

Says paid for by the Dept of Education, Guess where they get their money PROPERTY TAXES ON THE HOME OWNERS so you see this is paid for by tax payers whom are taxed to death for every bleeding heart need by the non working people. I dont have kids in any school and I have to pay for this hand out with my home owner tax. I say TAX the parents whom have kids in school.

debbiep38
391
Points
debbiep38 06/10/12 - 09:56 pm
0
0
Aw, those poor skinny little
Unpublished

Aw, those poor skinny little kids, don't you see them all the time at Wal Mart?

southern2
5433
Points
southern2 06/11/12 - 07:31 am
11
3
No doubt, in a nation so

No doubt, in a nation so blessed as the USA, no child should go hungry but there has to be limits on the free stuff. How many times are taxpayers being made to pay for a child to eat in one day? Aren't most of these parents already receiving funding to feed their kids without sending them out for another handout? With clever little names like SNAP, WIC, EBT, Child Nutrition Program, National School Lunch Program, Afterschool Snacks, Seamless Summer, Team Nutrition, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, CACFP (Child and Adult Food Care Program), you would think legislators could stop implementing these duplicate programs. I guess there is a need to throw in one more safety net as mentioned in the article, The Summer Food Service Program, funded by the Georgia Department of Early Child Care and Learning’s Bright From the Start. It's a wonder these kids don't weigh 400 pounds each. How about restricting each kid to only one program providing 3 free squares a day and eliminate the redundancy, the waste, and the cost?

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 06/11/12 - 10:05 am
0
0
First off Ms. Mack should
Unpublished

First off Ms. Mack should know that her statement of "WE have to provide for OUR children" should have been " Parents need to provide for their children" because I didn't have any children that I couldn't provide for by myself. What should be addressed is the fathers of the three kids and what they contribute towards the kids feeding. Now if we want a real story, ask the mama why she had kid after kid with no marriage license and no support after the birth of each one. I notice that Ms. Williams dosen't volunteer her time at the feeding trough to clean up or prepare the snacks, although she apparently has plenty of time available. I will bet that mama has the latest 4G cell and a big screen at home with the latest game system and that she goes to the nail/hair salon and is a devout lottery player on a regular basis

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 06/11/12 - 11:32 am
10
2
I am sure someone will be

I am sure someone will be calling all the previous posters cruel and myself for even suggesting that parents pay for their own children to eat. I do it each and everyday with my own child. I have never received a government handout to feed my child nor expected one when I had him. It was a choice I made and wonders why others don't make the same ones. After the first kid you couldn't afford to feed did it occur to you to stop at one instead of bringing 2 more in the mix. It is also the 11th day of the month so why is there no food in the pantry??? I have food all month long that I pay for with money I earn from working. If I got free money I am sure I would still have food in my pantry. I have seen the first of the month madness at Walmart on Dean's Bridge and it is something to behold. Buggies filled to the rim with bread, cookies, juices, meat in bulk, eggs in bulk, so how on Earth are these folks going hungry?? I don't want to see any child go hungry BUT these parents are already getting housing, food, and medical assistance so what more could they need - MORE food!

allhans
23298
Points
allhans 06/11/12 - 11:32 am
8
0
Why is the pantry empty. No

Why is the pantry empty. No time for shopping? Works but doesn't make enough money...? Tell us the 'rest of the story'.
-
As for Dogwood Terrace Center. Thank you! Keep up the good work.

jbenny2010
253
Points
jbenny2010 06/11/12 - 12:12 pm
4
3
As much as I object to the

As much as I object to the "entitlement mentality" running amok in this country, I will say this: sometimes these mothers don't understand how to buy the kind of food that is nourishing and will stretch out through the entire month. They tend to buy processed foods and snacks rather than staple goods like rice, beans, whole chickens, etc. that will last. Also, there aren't a lot of grocery stores within walking distance of most of the housing projects and poorer areas. If you don't have a car, it is difficult to get to a full service grocery and you have to depend on the corner store which has mostly junk food.

I'm not excusing it, and I definitely don't support it; however, I do understand the need for it. This mentality that the government (and even life itself) is supposed to give me stuff and take care of me from the womb to the tomb has got to change because it's destroying our nation.

But I'll guess I'll stop here before I really get on my soapbox!

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/11/12 - 12:17 pm
6
2
This program has been going
Unpublished

This program has been going on for DECADES.

faithson
4852
Points
faithson 06/11/12 - 12:36 pm
3
7
something wrong

gotta love people who condemn feeding the least among us and advocate by their 'religious' convictions that 'abstinence' is -od's way, and will have nothing to do with any programs that advocate prevention. Don't get me started on 'qualifying' people to BE parents, according to some bible thumpers we cannot even suggest that a mother who's child is born addicted to drugs should be mandated a contraceptive therapy.

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 06/11/12 - 12:56 pm
7
1
Oh my goodness now we need to

Oh my goodness now we need to give people free BIRTH CONTROL too!! How about closing your legs or keeping the fly closed those work great and really are FREE! These children don't get here on their own they are made by irresponsible adults who need to do what is mentioned at the beginning of this posting!

Ilove - Did we read the same article? See the below quote straight from the above article.

"During the summer, the district offers an alternative so families that depend on the assistance aren’t left without options."

tanbaby
1293
Points
tanbaby 06/11/12 - 01:35 pm
7
0
what a joke !!! i have a
Unpublished

what a joke !!! i have a co-worker who was receiving food stamps, got a promotion and they cut out her stamps. child got sick, she took him to ER to be treated for bronchitis and then complained to me because it cost her $6 !!!! SIX DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i told her "that sounds a little bit greedy, don't you think????" have you ever had to pay the ER without help from the taxpayers????

faithson
4852
Points
faithson 06/11/12 - 02:50 pm
2
3
irresponsible...

scooby, you make my point... the only issue is that your willing to allow this irresponsibility to continue, ad infinum... I'm NOT !

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/11/12 - 02:51 pm
1
6
Scooby
Unpublished

So because the AC worded it as they did, it must mean ALL familes huh???

Once again, this program has been around for DECADES...through MANY different adminstations....local, state, and federal....apparently there is a need somewhere. If they are not fed, what do you think their next option would be? Think about it. HAve you ever been hungry and without?

Plus, you only receive a cold sandwich, a milk, a fruit cup, and MAYBE a small snack. THATS IT!......sure does cost the taxpayers alot.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/11/12 - 02:55 pm
1
4
Richmond County Summer Camps,
Unpublished

Richmond County Summer Camps, RCBOE Summer school programs, and other summer programs ALSO are included in that 40,000. So all students enrolled in a RC Summer camp, or the RCBOE I.D.E.A. Summer Program MUST be on govt assistance, because the AC said so.

Spin, spin, spin. Round and round we go.

happychimer
16112
Points
happychimer 06/11/12 - 03:03 pm
2
4
and how many children do we

and how many children do we feed in other countries? I guess it is ok to feed children in other countries, but if we feed one of our American children, people holler the sky is falling. There are many familes with children who get reduced lunch. They don't qualify for free lunch, but they do for a reduced amount., and many of those who get reduced lunch do not qualify for food stamps, and choose not to participate in the summer program.

ya-ya
83
Points
ya-ya 06/11/12 - 03:09 pm
2
5
For those who don't

For those who don't understand, read the article again. She clearly states that in the summer when kids are home all day they eat but during the school year her fridge is stocked. I have one child at home and sometimes have to wonder where the food is going. Stop being so quick to assume its the "entitlement" crowd, whoever that is, and realize that there are people out there that need help, regardless.

CobaltGeorge
150918
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/11/12 - 03:27 pm
5
1
iLove

Put these two together and tell me where the intelligence is?

"you only receive a cold sandwich, a milk, a fruit cup, and MAYBE a small snack. THATS IT!......sure does cost the taxpayers alot."

"Last summer, the system provided 4,000 total breakfasts and lunches per day through the program, Mack said. During the 2011-12 school year, the district served roughly 40,000 meals per day."

Doesn't cost the tax payers at lot......Right?

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 06/11/12 - 04:25 pm
7
0
Gee how on EARTH did people

Gee how on EARTH did people make it back during the late 1800s and early 1900s? In fact, how did we as humans manage to survive at ALL since some of us can't work and feed ourselves. I am shocked we are all still here.

faithson - I think you missed the boat on my comment. I don't mind anyone being taught birth control options but the best if you can't afford to dish out the money for it like the rest of us is good old close 'em up or zip it up.

As for the sandwich, fruit, and milk - I pay for my own by working. This is America and no one should be going hungry but people on public assistance can be doing a lot more than what they do. I noticed in the pictures the sandwiches were packaged?? Why? That cost more ?? Get some loaves of wheat bread and some turkey to make sandwiches. I think the real problem is that would require workers to come in and put them together. Here is the perfect solution have some of the people on assistance who have some free time on their hands to come in and make them. Would sure cost a lot less than using pre-packaged food with a lot of preservatives.

corgimom
28479
Points
corgimom 06/11/12 - 08:30 pm
1
1
I would rather pay now and

I would rather pay now and feed kids good, nutritious food then pay it later in dental and medical costs as adults.

Food stamps don't come anywhere near what is adequate to feed a family. It's not supposed to pay 100% of the costs, it's a supplement to their welfare checks.

If a woman takes three kids with her and walks in June heat just to get a turkey sandwich, a fruit cup, some crackers, and some milk- if she would go to that trouble for so little- then I'd say, yes, without that program, those children would go hungry.

As to how people made it back in the old days- this is one of the reasons why child mortality was so high back then. Lots of people didn't make it. No food, you went hungry, you eventually got sick and died. Pellagra and rickets used to be very common in the US. Lots and lots of kids died from secondary complications from malnutrition. My mother was malnourished as a child, she contracted rheumatic fever and had problems with it all the rest of her life. My son's grandfather had rickets as a child, his legs are misshapen. Why would any one think that should happen, in 2012?

As to the packaged sandwiches, they were being fed in a community center. There are health laws in place, a community center would not be able to pass the stringent laws in place regarding food preparation. You also have to have workers trained and certified in food prepataion. So the idea of buying bread and turkey and making sandwiches would be in direct violation of state laws. It also means there aren't any trays or plates to wash and sanitize-which costs a lot of money.

The "good ol' days" of letting just anybody and everybody come and feed kids is over, and that's a good thing. We, as adults, want clean food and sanitary conditions and healthy food workers when we eat in public, but seem to think that isn't necessary when it comes to children. And children and the elderly are the ones hit the worst with food-borne illnesses.

What has happened in this country when we are willing to penalize helpless children for parental mistakes? Aren't we, in America, supposed to protect our most vulnerable populations, the children and the elderly?

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 06/11/12 - 11:43 pm
0
0
Corgi I spied a set of car

Corgi I spied a set of car keys on that table with those kids so what makes you think she doesn't have a car maybe she just felt like walking considering it is not that far from her house. More money to drive just up the street than walk you know.

Next point - what is healthy about syrupy sugar laden fruit cup that is processed, white bread sandwiches (packaged ones at that means preservatives), and chocolate milk???? As to the packaging arguement do they not have wheat bread sandwiches in those prepared baggies that are so important to met the states standards. Trained and certified to throw some meat on a piece of bread!! I do that all the time for myself and my child. Do you mean we have to be trained to do that??? Ever heard of gloves like they wear in the lunchrooms at schools across America? So this is what I gather from that America is willing to make things even harder on the tax payers by saying someone has to be trained and certified to serve a sandwich???? So let's make it too hard to just buy some bread and meat to make inexpensive sandwiches for the hungry children. Heck the tax payers are paying the bill so let's enforce certification rules, pre-packaged breads and meats, and whatever else we can. Gee thanks!

I don't see ANY American going hungry such as the likes of children in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East so spare me. In fact I see a lot of obese children in schools across America whose parents are feeding them on the government EBT funds, free lunches at school, free lunches in the summer, and free whatever else we can get.

No I don't want to see children in good ol America go hungry but where is my handout when the bank funds are low - that's right I make TOO much money to get it. It is called budgeting and making wise choices. I will never expect Uncle Sam to provide my child with food when I am able to work and provide for him myself. We have abuse of the system make no doubt about it. In fact let's be socialist fair here - EBT FOR US ALL!!!! FREE healthcare for us ALL!!! REDUCED LUNCHES for all children in schools even private ones!!! Yes that sounds good where do I go to fill out my paperwork.

The bottom line is someone has to pay and those of us paying are getting pretty burned out. We are also pretty tired of folks acting as if we are heartless and don't care about these kids when if it wasn't for us they would have already succumbed to starvation. I simply advocated for them (the parents) to stop having all these children they can't feed and get that free birth control that is offered up to them via once again - the tax payers!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs