Cove Creek School offers students free summer meals
According to Watauga County Schools, the summer feeding program will provide a free breakfast between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and a free lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. for anyone 18 or younger who comes to the school cafeteria accompanied by a parent or other adult.
"We are very pleased to be able to offer this service to local families," said WCS interim Superintendent David Fonseca said in a news release.
"It is a goal we have pursued for over a year, and now that we know Cove Creek will host a summer reading camp, we look forward to providing free meals there," Fonseca said. "We encourage families to take advantage of the program."
Children must be transported to the site by a parent or guardian and the parent or guardian must remain with their children while they eat.
Children who are dropped off or unattended at the school will not be served.
The meals must also be consumed at the school, as no takeout orders will be served and adults accompanying their children will not be able to purchase a meal, but can bring one if they wish to eat with their children.
No application or approval process is required for children to receive free meals at Cove Creek.
"All they need to do is show up with an adult, wash their hands and go through the line to be served," Monica Adams, WCS child nutrition director, said in the news release.
Cove Creek is a Title I school, meaning that more than 50 percent of students receive free or reduced price school meals.
According to WCS officials, federal funds will reimburse the county schools for meals served to children during the summer program.
"The reimbursements are not enough to cover the costs of providing free meals as a separate service in schools, but they do make it possible to provide this service while summer reading camp is open," Adams said.
"We are hoping the program will help a lot of children in families that can use a little assistance to keep everyone fed," she said.
The summer reading camp at Cove Creek is for third-graders receiving intensive reading instruction to help prepare them for fourth-grade.
While a similar reading camp will operate at Hardin Park School, that site will only serve meals to children enrolled in the reading program. Hardin Park is not a Title I school and is therefore not eligible for federal funding for a summer feeding program.
However, all students enrolled in the summer reading camp at Hardin Park will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch while attending the program.