The Garrett County Public Schools was recently awarded a Rural Development Grant to expand the Summer Food Service Program. The $44,950.00 grant, along with matching funds totaling $15,000.00 from The Hilltop Fruit Market, The Farmers Market, Johnnies Restaurant and Supply, A. F. Wendling’s Foodservice, and Share our Strength/ No Kid Hungry, was used to purchase two mobile dining trailers and vehicles to tow them. The mobile dining trailers were outfitted with serving equipment, tables, and benches so the children could eat their lunch, no matter the weather. The mobile dining trailers had the ability to pull into a Summer Food Service site, open the doors, and feed children free lunches, even in locations where there was no place to get in out of the weather or even to sit down. All of the meals served at the 14 Summer Food Service sites were free to children 18 and under regardless of where they lived. Summer meals were served using funds from the USDA’s Summer Feeding Program. Funds covered the food and labor required to prepare and serve the meals, but not to transport them to the children. In Garrett County and other rural areas, it is hard for children to get to school sites in the summer. For this reason, we used the grant money to take the meals to the children.
The Summer Food Service Program in Garrett County has grown from two sites serving 7,263 meals four years ago to 14 sites this past summer. In the summer of 2017, 15,740 meals were served, a gain of 3,230 meals from the previous summer. The sites included Dennett Road Educational Complex, Garrett College, Liberty Mews, Crellin Methodist Church, Oakland Town Parking Lot, Loch Lynn Park, the Deer Park VFW, Kitzmiller Community Park, Bloomington Park, Red House – St. John Lutheran Church, Accident Town Park, Friendsville Elementary School, Grantsville Elementary School, and the Bittinger Fire Hall.
The Summer Food Service Program will begin serving meals again the Monday after the last day of school in June 2018; look for new sites to be added. If there is a site you would like to see serving free summer meals, contact the Food and Nutrition Services Department 301-334-8917 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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