POMEROY — The summer meal program for Meigs County school children which started in June is showing good participation at the daily luncheons at the Senior Citizens Center and at those being served one day a week at three library sites in the county.
The meals for the children, funded by the Ohio Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture, with some contribution from other sources are prepared in the kitchen at the Center and then delivered to the libraries at Pomeroy and Racine and the one located in the Eastern School.
Currently between 50 and 70 children are served lunch at the Pomeroy Library after the reading program on Wednesdays. On Mondays food is delivered to the Racine Library where 12 to 15 children eat, and on Tuesdays lunch is taken to the Eastern library for children in that area. At both Racine and Eastern lunch is served following a story hour. At the Senior Center lunch is served from 11 a.m. to noon daily to the dozen or more children who come, many of whom are accompanied by their parents.
The meal program for kids will continue into August and then shut down when school lunch rooms open.
Summer lunch programs for children have sprung up all across the state where it is estimated that 16.4 percent of households in Ohio are struggling with hunger.
The consensus of the Ohio Department of Education is that “children from food insecure households are likely to be behind in their academic development compared to other children which ultimately makes it difficult for them to reach the same level of development
Meanwhile, the Meigs County Council on Aging’s program of providing food for homebound seniors continues on a daily basis.
Approximately 80 meals a day are delivered to seniors around the county in the hotshot trucks. Darla Hawley, assistant to director, Beth Shaver, reports that during this period of extreme heat and power outages, the drivers are talking to each of the recipients to be sure they are getting along alright. Any problems detected are then referred to someone or an agency which can assist.