Summer Food Service Program looking to expand

By Charles Warner cwarner@civitasmedia.com

April 17, 2014

UNION COUNTY — The sponsors of a program that serves meals to children while school is out are looking to increase the number of children being served this summer.

The Mon-Aetna Baptist Church Child Enrichment Center is participating in the Summer Food Service Program which provides free meals to children ages 18 and younger.

Mon-Aetna CEC Director Susan Adams said Tuesday that the program is looking to grow this year and serve a larger number of children in Union County than it did last year.

“It is a nationally-funded, state-run program that is designed to serve meals to children while school is out,” Adams said. “We chose to be the sponsor for the program in Union County and we try to find groups of children to serve the meals to.

“We’re being encouraged by the state to increase service by ten percent each year,” she said. “In 2013, we served over 18,000 meals, but that was less than 500 children. There are at least 4,000 children in Union County so we have a great opportunity to increase our service. We just need to find these children.”

The Summer Food Service Program is tentatively scheduled to run from June 2-Aug. 15 and there are number of other organizations throughout the county that are participating in the program under the sponsorship of Mon-Aetna CEC.

“We have some sites that are enrolled sites like other daycare centers, the YMCA, and the recreation department,” Adams said. “We also look for open sites such as the Carlisle Lunch and Activity Center. Their town hall is open and children just come in there are activities as well as lunch.”

Adams said that any group or organization interested in being a site for the Summer Food Service Program should call her at the Mon-Aetna CEC at 864-427-2017.

“If there are any groups out there who want to participate we’d like to accommodate them,” Adams said. “They can call and let us start the application process and confirm whether they are qualified. They will then attend one training session.

“We serve snacks and lunch and they can choose what they want to participate in,” she said. “They can choose the duration they will participate and the day of the week.”

Enrolled Sites

These are the enrolled sites that are participating in the Summer Food Service Program this year:

• Mon-Aetna CEC

• Union County YMCA

• Union Church of God Child Development Center

• Grace United Methodist Church Child Enrichment Program

• Union County Recreation Department

• Bethel United Methodist Childcare-Day Care Center

• Jerusalem Project

Open Sites

These are the open sites that are participating in the Summer Food Service Program this year:

• Union Housing Authority

• Carlisle Town Hall

• Mon-Aetna Vacation Bible School

• Greater Union Church Vacation Bible School

• Summer Sports Camp

• USC Union Camp