Even though school is out for the summer, hundreds of students come to local schools for breakfast and lunch offered through Cullman County School’s Summer Feeding Program, Child Nutrition Director Donna Lewis said.

Through a federally funded program, meals are prepared and offered at Good Hope, Holly Pond and Hanceville schools, and are taken to students at Parkside, Vinemont, Cold Springs and Good Hope Primary schools, Lewis said. Anyone 18 years old or younger can eat breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday at the schools free of charge, and special education students can eat free meals during the summer until they are 22 years old, she said.

Lewis said some children might not get hot meals during the summer if the program didn’t exist. A Holly Pond woman brought eight children with her to eat at school one day this summer, and a Hanceville woman brought six, she said.

“We feel like we’re doing a great thing for somebody that maybe would not have the money, and for kids that might go hungry during the summer time, and that’s really what it’s all about,” Lewis said.

Lewis said about 300 students eat breakfast at school during the summer, and 500-600 eat lunch. Those numbers increase when schools host camps for sports or bands, she said.

Lewis said the Summer Feeding program was implemented in 2005.

She said she wants to thank the community for its support.

“We appreciate the support of the surrounding communities, administrators and teachers that have been on campus and have come to eat with us,” she said. “Without them, the program would not succeed. We feel like we need to be available when we can for anyone that might have a need or hardship as far as having enough food to go around.”

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