Although school is out for the summer, Ohio County Schools cafeterias will be busy. Healthy meals will be prepared, and children who may not otherwise have access to a nutritious breakfast or lunch will be able to enjoy them for free for nearly all of the summer.
The annual Ohio County Schools Healthy Summer Meals Program begins June 15, and the breakfasts and lunches are free to all children ages 2-18. Ohio County Schools Child Nutrition Director Renee Griffin said the summer meals program has been a success in each of its previous years, and the program continues to expand.
This year, enrollment is not necessary. Children may simply arrive at the designated locations and enjoy the meals they need for a fun and exciting summer. Griffin said Ohio County Schools is proud to offer the meals, and she thanked the partnering sights for providing such a service to the children of Ohio County.
“It allows us to provide healthy meals at a time when some children may not have access to them,” she said. “The children and the community seem to appreciate the program, and Ohio County Schools is thrilled to offer it.”
Griffin said USDA provides guidance for sponsors such as Ohio County Schools to use when planning the meals. Nutrition guidelines for servings of lean proteins, whole grains, fruit and vegetable servings, and low fat milk options must be used to plan menus.
Griffin, a registered dietitian for the past 23 years, said she understands the importance of planning menus that children will like while also meeting nutrition regulations in the program.
“It’s not nutrition if they are not eating it,” Griffin said. “We choose healthier versions of the children’s favorite foods and pair them with fruits and vegetables and low fat milk to complete a healthy meal.”