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Summer Meal Programs

Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 9:36 am

In the United States, approximately 20 million youth qualify for free and reduced lunch throughout the school year (USDA). Here in Tennessee, one in four youth will go hungry on a regular basis. Here on the mountain, one in three youth will go hungry (USDA & Feeding America). The South Cumberland Summer Meal Program was created to assist in providing meals to school-age youth during the summer months because so many are faced with hunger in their lives regularly. The South Cumberland Summer Meal Program was first envisioned by Rick Wright, Executive Chef for University of the South’s Dining Program in 2013. Chef Rick has been a longtime advocate for providing healthy meals to those who need them most, especially children. “Hunger threatens the future of a child; it threatens the future of our communities and nation as well,” Wright stated. Chef Rick is very excited to have the opportunity to provide healthy meals to kids throughout the area for the summer. lunch_26375759_stdThe South Cumberland Plateau Summer Meal Program will be working to serve Franklin and Grundy Counties to provide free summer meals to youth ages 18 and under who receive free and reduced lunch during the school year. The purpose of the program is to give youth who do not have regular access to healthy meals over the summer the opportunity to go somewhere for food and fun. All meals served will be very nutritious and full of fresh fruits and vegetables. At each meal site there will be programs which will last a minimum of one hour. Some summer meals will be served in partnership with local library reading programs, vacation bible schools, and other summer programs. The programs at each location will range from reading to nutrition education, gardening and art workshops with area art teachers. Each site will offer a unique approach to their planned programs and kids will have the opportunity to learn something new and have fun at the same time. All meals will be first come first serve and no prior registration is needed for meal sites. The libraries throughout Grundy County will be providing meals in partnership with their summer reading program “Every Hero Has a Story”. “We are excited to be a part of the effort to provide children with nutritious meals throughout the summer months… We hope to reach as many children as possible with good food and to encourage a love for reading,” said Karen Title of the Monteagle May Justus Memorial Library. Betty Carpenter of Otey Parish in Sewanee is also looking forward to utilizing the new library in their new parish hall “[We] are excited to tie in a reading program and encourage kids to continue reading throughout the summer.” But, not every program will be centered around reading. Swiss Memorial Elementary school will be tying their summer garden to the meal program to encourage the importance of healthy eating. Belinda Morgan who is also the school nurse for the elementary school will be heading up the program. “Many of our students are involved in sports and others activities and so having the opportunity for the kids who attend the garden club to also receive healthy meals will make all the difference. These meals will also help the kids better understand the importance of healthy eating” Belinda stated. This summer meal program will be organized by Kelly Farina who is an AmeriCorps VISTA with the University of the South. Farina has been working with issues related to hunger and food insecurity for several years and it became a real interest to her during a summer internship in 2013. She can be reached with questions regarding the program at or 931-598-1851. Information is also available through the program’s Facebook page. Like The South Cumberland Summer Meal Program for updates about locations and times throughout the summer.

Location Time Dates
Altamont Community Center 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Mondays – FridaysJune 1- June 31
Beersheba Springs Public Library 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. WednesdaysJune 3 – June 24
Beersheba Springs Medical Center 12 p.m.- 1 p.m. Mondays and FridaysJune 1 – August 14
Beersheba Springs Cumberland Baptist Church Bible School 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – FridaysJuly 27 – July 31
Dubose Conference Center Monteagle 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and FridaysJune 1 – June 31
Tracy City First Methodist Church Bible School 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – FridayJune 1 – June 5
May Justus Memorial LibraryMonteagle 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Tuesdays and ThursdaysJune 2 – June 30
Palmer Public Library 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ThursdaysJune 18 – July 30
Swiss Memorial Elementary School 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Mondays – FridaysJune 15 – July 3
Tracy City Public Library 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesdays and FridaysJuly 1 – July 31
Crow Creek Community CenterSherwood 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and FridaysJuly 1 – July 31
Huntland Community CenterHuntland 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ThursdaysJune 4 – August 14
Otey ParishSewanee 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Mondays and WednesdaysJune 1 – June 30
Rain Teen centerWinchester 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. WednesdaysJune 3 – August 12
Midway PlaygroundSewanee 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Tuesdays and ThursdaysJune 2 – June 30
St. James Episcopal Church Bible School Sewanee 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Monday – ThursdayJune 22 – June 25
Trinity Episcopal ChurchWinchester 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesdays and FridaysJune 3 – July 31