2018-06-14 / Front Page

Kids can eat free lunches thanks to Seamless Summer Option at LCHS


Kolton Norman (left) and Jakayla Norman (right) are enjoying one of the free meals provided for Lincoln County children and young people 18 or under during the summer months. Youth can enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch, served at the Lincoln County High School Cafeteria, insuring proper nutrition. They are joined by Sarah Norman. (center) Kolton Norman (left) and Jakayla Norman (right) are enjoying one of the free meals provided for Lincoln County children and young people 18 or under during the summer months. Youth can enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch, served at the Lincoln County High School Cafeteria, insuring proper nutrition. They are joined by Sarah Norman. (center) Frequently children who de­pend on breakfast and lunch at school have problems meeting their nutritional needs over the summer break. The Lincoln County School System will serve free meals to children and teens through its Seamless Summer Option (SSO) for the fifth year. The initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA

Meals will be served at the Lincoln County High School caf­eteria June 4-28 and July 9-26.

Breakfast will be served from 8-9 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Monday-Thursday. The meals are free to all children and teen­agers 18 years of age or younger. The school system, however, is under strict USDA guidelines to which it must adhere. There­fore, adults must pay $1.50 for breakfast and $3.25 for lunch. Children must eat their meals in the cafeteria.

“It’s a great program that serves the needs of children in Lincoln County. While we would love a head count so we would know how many meals to prepare each day, you don’t have to sign up for the program, just show up,” Nutrition Director Kay Light said.

The cafeteria at Lincoln Coun­ty High School is the serving site for the meals. Participants are asked to access the campus using the entrance that leads to the rear of the school, where the dining area is located. The entrance is situated on the left, before the Board of Education office on Metasville Road.

To be eligible to take part in SSO, at least 50 percent of the children in a school district must qualify for free or reduced lunch­es. In Lincoln County, the figure is approximately 68 percent.

The number of children partici­pating in the SSO initiative has increased since its first year, and “the greatest benefit is that we’re able to provide nutritious, hot meals to children in the county who may not normally have that,” Light said.

According to Light, the SSO is also beneficial because it lessens the financial burden on parents over the summer, because they have less food to buy. She noted that the summer months can be very difficult for people, espe­cially in small communities.

“The program helps to feed the children who are in summer school as well, and it’s a great way for them to take advantage of the free meals,” Light con­tinued.

Menus for the summer will be available on the system’s website at www.lincolncountyschools.org. Simply go to the “Depart­ments” link and select “Nutri­tion.”

The Lincoln County School System also receives certain USDA commodity products at a reduced price for the initiative. Foods such as cheese, meat, fresh produce, and canned fruits and vegetables are provided at a price determined by the number of children fed in the SSO, Light said, highlighting that the simple menus involved in the program help to keep labor costs low.

The SSO was designed to be a streamlined approach to feed­ing hungry children in Georgia communities, according to the USDA. It is an offshoot of the department’s Summer Food Ser­vice Program (SFSP) that ensures low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.

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