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Summer feeding program called 'necessity' for school students

Thursday, June 12, 2014 6:29 PM
Last updated 11:03 PM
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Lonnie Rouy can rest easy when the clock approaches noon.

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Cross Creek High School student Davontae Blackshear (left) receives a boxed lunch from Rosetta Jackson, a summer food worker, as a group of Performance Learning Center students eat lunch as part of the Summer Feeding Program.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAF
Cross Creek High School student Davontae Blackshear (left) receives a boxed lunch from Rosetta Jackson, a summer food worker, as a group of Performance Learning Center students eat lunch as part of the Summer Feeding Program.

The Lucy C. Laney High School student, taking summer courses in the Harriet Tubman Education Center, opens his small white box and starts digging into his food. Today, it’s a cold cut combo with apples.

Lonnie doesn’t have to worry about where his meals are going to come from when he attends his classes, because he can depend on the district’s summer feeding program to keep him well-fed. It keeps him focused throughout his day as he studies.

“It’s helped me,” Lonnie said. “It’s helped all of us here.”

For those who struggle to get food and eat regularly throughout the year, the summer feeding program helps Richmond County students under 18 to continue to receive no-cost meals after Augusta schools close for summer break.

Funded by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Bright from the Start initiative, the summer feeding program provides meals in feeding centers across Richmond County.

In operation since 1992, the program uses the school district, local youth programs and faith organizations to provide breakfast and lunch to county residents through July. School systems are reimbursed for the services based on the total number of meals per site and the meal type.

“It’s bridging a gap. It’s important that students needing this opportunity are able to receive it year round,” said Falita Flowers, the director of nutrition for Early Care and Learning. “It helps make (sure) students are prepared throughout the school year and ensures they don’t suffer nutritionally.”

Josephine Mack, the Richmond County Board of Education’s director of nutrition, said it’s a necessary service for Augusta-area children, considering that roughly 50 percent of the student population made use of no-cost breakfasts and 84 percent ate no-cost lunches during the school year.

About 2,500 students countywide are served by the summer feeding program every day.

“It helps keep children ready to learn and helps their households deal with this issue,” Mack said. “We’ll either pay on this end or the other end of a child’s life. Hungry children don’t learn. It’s an important part of ensuring student achievement and making sure our students are well taken care of throughout the year.”

Those working at the feeding sites have a similar view.

“It works. We serve food to kids who wouldn’t be eating otherwise,” said Latoya Foreman, one of the workers. “If we didn’t have programs like this, children would go hungry.”

Six school districts statewide use the summer feeding program, while others use the similar Seamless Summer Option, provided by the Georgia Department of Education.

FIND A SITE NEAR YOU

For more information on the summer feeding program or to find a feeding site near your area, visit http://decal.ga.gov/Nutrition/Search.aspx or text FOODGA to 877-877.

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corgimom
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corgimom 06/12/14 - 11:20 pm
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11
And the usual commenters will

And the usual commenters will wail about welfare, etc. for a program that feeds hungry children. It doesn't do anything else but feed poor children with empty stomachs- and people will complain about that.

But then they'll go to church on Sunday and listen to Bible verses about feeding the poor, and nod their heads in agreement.

You see, I was one of those hungry children. There was food in my house- but my mother had serious problems, and was overwhelmed, and I had to fend for myself long before I should have. My mother kept the cereal on top of the refrigerator, which I couldn't reach- so I went to school hungry. And getting out the milk carton was hard, and if I spilled it, I got beat, so I was afraid to do that.

And that is why I swore that when I left home, I would always make sure my child would have food that he could easily get to.

And that's what a lot of people don't understand- a lot of poor kids are being raised by disabled adults with significant problems, for many of those kids, school food is the best food they'll get all day.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 06/12/14 - 11:56 pm
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Now we know why their

Now we know why their parent(s) have enough extra food stamps to sell for 50% of face value to have money to buy cigarettes, booze, and drugs. They already draw food stamps for the kids but since we are kind enough to pay to feed them twice the parent(s) might as well use the extra food stamps to have a smoke and a 40 oz. on us taxpayers.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/13/14 - 04:26 am
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Education

Look at the photo up above and realize the life lessons that the "Summer Feeding Program" is teaching our students — namely that your government will feed you all life long, as long as you vote Democrat.

It's a lesson they appear to be learning quite well.

Sigh.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 06/13/14 - 04:45 am
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Gee, Davontae (in the

Gee, Davontae (in the picture) must be doing alright...got himself a nice shirt from the Augusta National. Not sure what his free food situation is, or if his parent is unable to afford a box of cereal, but he dresses better than my kids.
Okay...gotta go to work. There's a lot of kids like Davontae that I have to go out and help support.

iaaffg
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iaaffg 06/13/14 - 06:20 am
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2
another kumbiyah bunch of

another kumbiyah bunch of horse hockey....i bet most of these 'poor' kids are already on the dole and their parent is getting food stamps, medical assistance, section 8 housing, etc.etc.etc., so why do they need additional food given to them? and yeah, devontae sure doesn't look like he's suffering from malnutrition, does he, nor does he look like he's wearing cast-off items from a donation barrel. furthermore, this would be a good reason to do away with summer school altogether, if this is all it amounts to: another source for those that are getting 'free' (and nothing is free, nothing, nothing, nothing, someone is paying for all the 'free' somewhere, mainly the hardworking taxpayers) to get even more. also: if the reason for the 'free' food during the school year is to aid these 'poor' kids to do better, and then we hear 'stories' claiming it helps, why are they having to go to summer school at all if all that 'free' food helped them in their studies during regular school year? next thing you know, they'll be giving these 'poor' kids a 'free' car when they turn sixteen, just so they don't have to wear out those two-hundred dollar sneakers they wear by walking anywhere. and we certainly wouldn't want to traumatize the poor darlings by having them see other kids their age that have cars and they don't, goodness only knows what that would do to their ability to learn or to succeed in life. as in all things: what is sown will eventually be reaped. in this case, it doesn't look like the harvest will be very bountiful.

iaaffg
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iaaffg 06/13/14 - 06:46 am
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i grew up poor, too. but we

i grew up poor, too. but we were never on the dole. and never went hungry, either, or bare-foot, or without heat in the winter. it was called 'living within our means' something that's gone out the window in america along with integrity, honesty, personal accountability, ethics, and common-sense.

LillyfromtheMills
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LillyfromtheMills 06/13/14 - 09:48 am
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God bless the little children

Makes me want to strangle the sorry parents! CMom - your father was an officer in the Navy, correct and you were hungry?

AFjoe
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AFjoe 06/13/14 - 10:21 am
1
1
Trade

I'll give you two box lunches and a coke for your shirt.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 06/13/14 - 11:04 am
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As I said before, hunger is a

As I said before, hunger is a good motivator to better yourself.

corgimom
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corgimom 06/13/14 - 11:05 am
2
5
Children who receive food

Children who receive food stamps are automatically eligible, it is part of their benefits.

You can either feed hungry kids now, or pay for them later on Medicaid, with higher medical and dental bills.

What's cheaper? What makes more sense?

Sweet son
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Sweet son 06/13/14 - 11:58 am
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lgr
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lgr 06/13/14 - 12:41 pm
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hungry hildren

i believe that we should always feed the children. keep the schools open all year round. feed the kids, cut out the food stamps.that way we know the kids got to eat.

LillyfromtheMills
13885
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LillyfromtheMills 06/13/14 - 12:43 pm
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corgi

Where was your father?

LillyfromtheMills
13885
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LillyfromtheMills 06/13/14 - 12:48 pm
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@

@

internationallyunknown
4374
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internationallyunknown 06/13/14 - 12:53 pm
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365 days ago

...this same article was printed. Welll...not exactly the same article, but the same topic...

and the beat goes...

countyman
20575
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countyman 06/13/14 - 02:35 pm
1
4
Facts

The comments about the children in Richmond County are sickening..

LillyfromtheMills
13885
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LillyfromtheMills 06/13/14 - 03:05 pm
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CM

It has nothing to do with the children - it's their parents. Big difference!

geecheeriverman
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geecheeriverman 06/13/14 - 03:11 pm
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Cradle to the grave

Let us (working people) take care of them from the cradle to the grave. This is our President's plan for a socialist state. I say feed all the poor but the Bible says "He that will not work, neither should he eat"

AFjoe
3588
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AFjoe 06/13/14 - 03:56 pm
2
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Not the children

It's not about feeding the children. It's about the never ending list of handouts. Heck down in Florida they hand out phones. That way you can call and order take out, pay for it with a EDT card & then rob the working driver as he tries to leave.
PS...I grew up poor myself.

burninater
9680
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burninater 06/13/14 - 04:06 pm
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What on Earth and in Heaven

What on Earth and in Heaven is "necessary" about feeding children?

If you stop feeding them long enough, they just disappear and go away.

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 06/13/14 - 07:41 pm
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^^^^^^

That plays right into the President's National Science Advisors theories ....

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