CARLISLE — The Town of Carlisle is looking after children younger than 18 years of age this summer.
The community is once again offering a free summer lunch and activities program at Town Hall for the children of Union County.
According to Carlisle Mayor Mary Ferguson-Glenn, this year’s program will not only include nutritious meals from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Thursday until the end of July, but also plenty of fun to keep the kids occupied.
Activities will include cooking, art, painting and other crafts as well as going to the Union County YMCA to swim, going to the movies and playing on a waterslide.
“I want them to come,” Ferguson-Glenn said. “And I want them to have a grand time. This is a place to have fun.”
The community is offering the free program this year in place of the YMCA which has offered it in the past through a federal grant program. Carlisle has been involved with the program for the last several years and took over completely last year for two weeks in June until the Y took it back over in July.
No taxpayer dollars are spent for the free summer lunch and activity program.
Instead, Ferguson-Glenn explained the program is supported through donations.
“We are so fortunate because in our summer program 2009 we were donated funds by citizens of Union County,” she said.
The town received a donation of $1,875 last year — given by several individuals throughout the county — to support the program and has some of those funds remaining because of the Y taking the program over again last year.
“They heard about our plight and decided to help us,” Ferguson-Glenn said about those generous individuals who donated to the program.
It is the remaining balance of that donation the community will use to get the 2010 installment under way.
The program is open to anyone in Union County, not only Carlisle community members. Ferguson-Glenn said the only requirement is that the children who participate must be 18 years old or younger.
“As long as they’re 18 or under, we will feed them,” the mayor said.
She’s already gotten the OK from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for the refrigerator at Town Hall so now it’s just a matter of waiting for the kids to arrive.
The first day of the free summer lunch and activity program in Carlisle for 2010 is slated for Wednesday, June 16, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The program will operate again next Thursday, June 17, at the same time and then Monday through Thursday each week at the same time through the end of July.
Ferguson-Glenn is excited about having the kids back at Town Hall for another summer.
“It’s a joy having them,” she said. “It gives them a place to come and have fun.”
More importantly, however, is the free meals program provides an opportunity for children who might not receive lunch now that school is out.
“For some of these kids, without this program, it’s the only meal they’re going to get,” the mayor said. “To think about children going without food in these hard economic times . . . We need all the help we can get.”
Ferguson-Glenn is seeking volunteers to assist with the program. She said it’s not about giving a week of a person’s time, it’s about giving just one hour of the day to help the children.
“If everybody gave one hour of their time, we’d have enough,” she said.
The program averages 10-30 kids each day, depending on the day, according to the mayor, and she encourages anyone interested to get involved.
Ferguson-Glenn also said anyone wishing to donate funds to help the program succeed is also more than welcome to give her a call.
If you would like additional information on the free summer lunch and activity program being sponsored and operated by the Town of Carlisle, please call Carlisle Town Hall at (864) 427-1505. Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the program or donate funds for its support is encouraged to call Carlisle Mayor Mary Ferguson-Glenn at the same above number.