CDC TO OFFER FREE SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM AT SEVERAL AREA LOCATIONS

Child Development Centers (CDC) will offer a free lunch program for children and teenagers again this summer at several local churches, schools and other sites.

CDC has operated the program the past three years at as many as three locations, but this year will serve lunches at five sites, including two churches that were part of Oil City Area School District’s former summer lunch program. In addition to assuming responsibility for the Oil City program, CDC has enlisted a Franklin-based non-profit organization and a Franklin elementary school to become part of the outreach.

Funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program and CDC covers the costs of the lunches. The free meals will be available every weekday from Thursday, June 7, to Friday, August 24, at the following locations:

Cooperstown – Community Church of God, 1651 State Route 427, 11 am to 12:30 pm.

Franklin – Heart 2 Heart Parent Support Network, 304 13th Street, and Central Elementary School, both from 11 am to 1 pm.

Oil City – Calvary United Methodist Church, 115 East First Street; Willow Street Free Methodist Church, 71 Willow Street, both from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

The weekly menu for the summer will be as follows:

Monday — Chicken nuggets, corn, peaches, bread, milk.

Tuesday — Meatball subs, green beans, applesauce, milk.

Wednesday — Pizza, corn, pears, milk.

Thursday — Waffles/syrup, ham, green beans, applesauce, milk.

Friday — Hamburger/bun, mixed vegetables, mixed fruit, milk.

The summer lunch program is intended to make a nutritious midday meal available to students when school is not in session, to help families whose children lose free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch benefits during summer, and to extend nutrition to children who aren’t yet old enough to attend school, says CDC executive director Rina Nerlich.

The summer program has no income guidelines, so any family that has children up to age 18 is welcome to participate, including those who have infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Families do not have to register to obtain meals. Children may just report to one of churches, schools or other sites on any day they wish to eat lunch. Adults will be charged $3 per meal.

Volunteers have agreed to prepare and serve meals at all three churches and at the Heart 2 Heart site, but help is needed at Central Elementary School. Individuals who wish to lend a hand preparing and serving lunches are asked to call Mrs. Nerlich at CDC, 814-437-7288.

Also needed are a number of new or gently-used roaster ovens and supplies (paper products, etc.) for the various meal sites. Cash contributions are welcome too, and these will be used to buy additional equipment or supplies for the program.

CDC still is recruiting churches and non-profit organizations to become sites this summer for the free lunch program. Any church or organizations that may want to take part can learn more by calling the CDC office.

CDC has served lunches to as many as 105 children per day during the first three years of the program, but with expanding the outreach to more sites this summer, the organization hopes to greatly increase the number of families who participate, Mrs. Nerlich said.