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Kids 18 and under eligible for free meals

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

The school year may be drawing to a close this week, but that doesn’t mean local students have to go without nutritious breakfasts and lunches this summer.

Pulaski County Public Schools is offering free nutritious meals at three locations in Pulaski this summer through two programs funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture: Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option.

“Nearly 600,000 Virginia students rely on nutritious free or reduced-priced school meals to support their developing minds and bodies during the school year,” said James Lane, Virginia superintendent of public instruction. “I am grateful for all our summer meals sponsors and partners who keep our students and their families connected to wholesome and nutritious meals during the summer months so they are ready to learn when the new school year begins in August and September.”

The summer feeding programs operate at about 1,000 locations across the Commonwealth, including public housing centers, schools, community centers, camps and places of worship. In Pulaski County, meals will be offered at YMCA of Pulaski County and Critzer and Pulaski elementary schools.

The YMCA, 615 Oakhurst Ave., Pulaski, is serving breakfast and lunch Mondays through Fridays starting June 21 and continuing through Aug. 6. Breakfast is served 8:45-9:15 a.m. and lunch is 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Meals started being served at Critzer in October and will continue to be available through Aug. 10. They are available Mondays through Fridays, with breakfast running 7:45-9:15 a.m. and lunch 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Pulaski Elementary also has been offering free meals Mondays through Fridays since Oct. 1. The programs end there July 23. In the meantime, breakfast is 7:45-8:30 a.m. and lunch runs from 10:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Free meals are available to all children ages 18 and younger; even if they are receiving Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT). No proof identity is required to eat.

Other nearby sites serving meals can be located on the USDA Meals for Kids Site Finder at https://usda-fns.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id. Parents and others may also text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 to receive a list of nearby feeding centers.

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