Wednesdays on Beartooth News at Six Weekly look at individuals, groups and organizations going "above and beyond" to better the community

Class Act: Summer eating program

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For many children, the end of the school year is the beginning of a summer filled with fun and relaxation. But for a number of Montana families, summer is an especially difficult time of year.

Summer Eating Program"I know a lot of people really depend on this and really like it," says volunteer Cassandra Drynan.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction and Montana Food Bank Network are on a joint mission this summer.

"The program is designed to feed those children who don't usually get food at lunch time," says Robert Worthy, Dir. of Food Services at Helena Public Schools. Food security is essential for the health and development of all children in Montana. "The Summer Feeding Program is basically designed for those children who aren't in school who can't feed themselves or if they're just in the park and need something to eat," says Worthy.

Recognizing that hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation, both organizations are providing lunches five days a week at Memorial Park.

"It's a wonderful location, especially in the park, here kids get a place, they can play on the playground, they can play in the grass, in the pool, it's an opportunity to have good family fun outdoors," says Worthy. Not only are the organizations involved, but volunteers are getting into the act as well.

"I'm studying dietetics and I'm interested in community nutrition and I wanted to see how this program works and help out with it,” says Drynan.

During the summer months, children from low-income families do not have access to school breakfast or lunch and their families may have a hard time putting enough nutritious food on the table. In these situation, summer food service programs can fill a critical nutrition gap.

"We make sure kids get their fruits, their vegetables, their milk, they get a sandwich or a hot lunch, usually everyday there's at least two choices, sometimes 3," says Worthy.

Their efforts fighting hunger makes everyone involved in the summer feed program, Class Acts.

Story by Josh Egbert, Beartooth NBC.
Sponsored by Sylvan Learning Center of Helena.

Copyright ©2011 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved. 

 

Story by Josh Egbert, Beartooth NBC.
Sponsored by Sylvan Learning Center of Helena.

Copyright ©2011 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

 

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