For the next week and a half, until July 27, locations in Garner will continue to serve breakfast and lunch to students free of charge.
There are four locations in Garner, including East Garner Elementary, Smith Elementary, Aversboro Elementary and the Housing Authority of Wake County. There are also some outside of the town limits.
The times for each site ranges.
Carmen Graf, principal at East Garner Elementary School, said she has had little participation at her school, but she hopes that increases. She said she had no students show up last week.
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The Summer Meals Program is a federally-funded, state-administered program that helps feed children in low income areas during the summer months. Children, ages 18 and younger, can go to 132 different sites around Wake County and get a free breakfast and lunch.
In many low-income families, parents rely on school lunches to help feed their children during the school year. When school is out, there are times when the child may not get that meal.
In Wake County, 55,900 students qualify for free or reduced lunch. That is 36 percent of all Wake County students. And many of those students go to schools in Garner. Yet, last year the Summer Meals Program served only 10 percent of those on free or reduced lunch.
The county’s goal is to serve 36 percent more meals this year.
The Department of Public Instruction took over the program last year from the Department of Health and Human Services, after successfully advocating for the program to the General Assembly.
Wake County has implemented a number of efforts to battle food insecurity, including the Universal Breakfast program during the school year, Back Pack Buddies, and other policy changes.
How to find a site
There are three options. You can call 1-866-3HUNGRY; or text “FOODNC” to 877-877 or visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.
The sites inside town limits are:
▪ Aversboro Elementary - 1605 Aversboro Road, Garner; Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; Lunch: 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
▪ Smith Elementary - 1101 Maxwell Drive, Raleigh; Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; Lunch: 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
▪ East Garner Elementary - 5545 Jones Sausage Road, Garner; Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; Lunch: 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
▪ Housing Authority of Wake County - 817 Delta Street, Garner; Lunch only: 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
There are other sites outside the town limits nearby as well.