WVDE announces summer feeding programs for 2023

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 3:44 PM EST
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MARION COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - It’s estimated that 75% of West Virginia children qualify for free or reduced meals at school.

For many of them, school meals are the only ones they get.

The West Virginia Department of Education is looking for schools and non-profit organizations to become summer feeding sites.

Marion County has been operating a similar feeding program for its students for years.

“It’s a vital need that we know we have in our communities. We work with several partners, not only as a school system, to be able to provide summer feedings for your students. We also work with a number of community partners, such a connecting link that comes into our school campuses, for example North Marion High School. They service around 300-400 families when they do that,” said Donna Heston, Marion County Superintendent.

The district offers feeding programs through the year with several community partners.

“We waited until our Summer SOLE program ended, and they picked up the summer park programs and fed the kids there that wanted to come to the park. We basically in some form or fashion provided meals in June, July until school started in August,” said Terry Atha, a Child Nutrition Supervisor.

The SOLE program starts June 13th and ends July 13th.

Heston said it’s the community’s responsibility to make sure children don’t go hungry.

“It’s vital for us during the summer months to stay connected in any way that we can. Through this child nutrition offering, we do feed students at our sites 18 and under. We get them breakfast and lunch and the partnerships with Marion County Parks and Rec. I think it’s a vital thing we have to support our students,” Heston said.

A list of sites participating in the state’s summer feeding program will be released in June.