Nearly 4,000 meals served to youngsters during break

The Summer Food Service Program in Warren County is up and running.

Children ages 18 and under are eligible to have free breakfasts and/or lunches at Warren Area Elementary Center and Youngsville Elementary Middle School. The City of Warren joined the program this year as a sponsor and will provide bag lunches at three city playgrounds- Beaty Park, Crescent Park, and Lacy Playground.

“It’s a nice program, I like being able to offer it to the kids,” WAEC Principal Ann Ryan said Monday.

If parents have kindergarten students, Ryan is encouraging them to bring them into the school to eat breakfast or lunch and get familiar with the building before the school year begins.

The school district is maintaining its distribution points at the cafeterias of YEMS and WAEC.

“I had a lot of foot traffic coming in last week,” Sue Dunkle said during lunch at WAEC on Monday. She said WAEC had already served 31 meals and sent out another 24 to the three playground sites for lunch.

Breakfast is a cold cereal or a muffin with a piece of fruit with orange juice or milk; lunch is a hot meal or cold sandwich with a fruit, vegetable and milk.

On a day with nice weather, the number of meals they prepare typically increases, but Dunkle said she knows the meals some of the children eat at the sites are the only meals they’ll have that day.

Last year 3,894 meals were served to children in the summer food program in Warren County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Division of Food and Nutrition. Of the 3,894 meals served, 3,747 were lunches.

Breakfast at YEMS is available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. At WAEC, breakfast runs from 8 to 9 a.m. Both schools will offer lunch from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Menus will be posted at under the calendars tab. With the exception of the week of the Fourth of July, during which there was no meal service, the program runs Monday through Friday from June 12 through Aug. 8. YEMS will stop serving breakfasts on July 25.

Meals must be eaten on site and children are asked to clean up after themselves, according to a Warren County School District press release.

Only lunches will be provided to children participating in the city’s playground program. Those will be served from noon to 1 p.m.

The costs of the program are reimbursed through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Information about the program is available by calling the district’s food service department at 723-6900.