GALLIPOLIS — Bossard Memorial Library will be hosting the Ohio Summer Food Service program by becoming a serving site to feed local children with nutritious meals.
Eligible children can be between 1 to 18 years old and will be served Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
According to Bossard Memorial Library Director Debbie Saunders, the program is connected with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program begins Monday and ends Aug. 10.
“Through the training we received, we understand that the purpose of this program is to fill the gap for those who do rely on lunch during the school year, particularly for those who participate in the free and reduced lunch programs which we know in our county there is a great need for that,” Saunders said. “This program is to supplement or replace those meals that those children would have received at school.”
Saunders said there is no need to sign up or provide proof of income. All children are welcome to visit the program during serving times. The library is known as an open site whereas others may be closed.
“Our free and reduced lunch percentages in the county and city are high enough where they don’t require proof of income,” Saunders said.
Saunders said that children are always encouraged to join the summer reading program as well if they would like while attending the food service program. She also said the program helps fulfill the library’s goals of encouraging reading and learning in the community, and children learn and are more motivated to read when they are not thinking about being hungry.
The library is one of a few sites located throughout Gallia County. Elizabeth Chapel Church in Gallipolis also serves, as does Woodland Centers, God’s Hands at Work in Vinton and a serving site located at Rio Estates in Rio Grande.
Locations are often sponsored. Those in Gallia County are sponsored by TLC Ministries and RSVP of Ohio Valley. Some locations operate all days of the week and others only select days.
For more information, individuals can visit education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Food-and-Nutrition/2016-Summer-Food-Service-Program or call 1-866-3-HUNGRY.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.