school lunch

In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Raleigh County had a poverty rate of nearly 20 percent. Oftentimes, children living in poverty receive meals only while at school. 

To help combat this issue, the Raleigh County Board of Education has announced its sponsorship of the federally funded Summer Food Service Program, where free breakfast and lunch will be offered to children 18 and younger at several sites throughout the county until August. 

Raleigh County's Director of Child Nutrition Teresa Baker told The Register-Herald she is anticipating the program to feed around 500 children this summer, maybe even more. With an increase in feeding sites for this year's program, she said they're looking to feed 25 percent more children than past years. 

Funded by the WVU Extension Service, which also funds Energy Express, a summer reading, art and nutrition program for children, the Summer Food Service Program is of no cost to the sites serving the food. 

"We actually hire the cooks that participate in the Energy Express programs, which will also serve at some of the sites, and cooks from the Beckley Elementary satellite site will also be preparing meals to put them in coolers to deliver," Baker explained. "It's all a very well-oiled machine."  

Meals will be served at the following locations: 

| Bradley Elementary — Monday through Friday, June 17 to July 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

| Fairdale Elementary — Monday through Friday, June 17 to July 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. 

| Coal City Elementary — Monday through Friday, June 17 to July 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

| Beckley Elementary — Monday through Friday, June 17 to July 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon (Energy Express site). Beckley Elementary will also serve as a satellite site from June 12 to Aug. 1. 

| Stratton Elementary — Monday through Friday, June 17 to July 19. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served at noon (Energy Express site). 

| Park Middle – Monday through Friday, June 12 to July 31. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., and lunch will be served at 11 a.m. 

| Woodrow Wilson High – Monday through Thursday, July 1 to Aug. 1. Breakfast will be served at 8 a.m., and lunch will be served at noon. 

Raleigh County Schools will send satellite meals from Beckley Elementary to five sites, Coal City Elementary to one site, and Fairdale Elementary to one site. Those days include the following:

| Lake Stephens — from June 16 to July 19. Lunch will be served at noon. 

| Marsh Fork Memorial Park — from June 17 to July 19. Lunch will be served at noon. 

| Stoco Community Park — from June 17 to July 19. Lunch will be served at noon. 

| Dry Hill Prosperity Park — from June 17 to July 19. Lunch will be served at noon.

| Central Head Start/YMCA Program – Monday through Friday, June 12 to Aug. 1. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served at noon. 

| Grandview Christian Church — Only on Wednesdays, from June 17 to Aug. 1. Breakfast will be served at 8 a.m., and lunch will be served at noon. 

| Southern WV Multi-Cultural Center – Monday through Friday, June 17 to June 28. Lunch will be served at noon. 

— Email: jnelson@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @jnelsonRH 

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