As summer nears, kids' food program starts

As summer nears, food programs prepare

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The final school bell of the year will ring in just a few weeks, but for the 22,000 students in Charleston County School District who rely on free or reduced price meals, the season will mean an entirely new worry.

"If these children qualify for free and reduced meals during the school year, a big question is, 'what do they do in the summer to get meals?'" CCSD Seamless Summer Feeding Program Director Jeremy Tunstill said.

The Seamless Summer Feeding Program provides free breakfasts and lunches to kids 18 years old and younger.  Nine school district kitchens cook the meals and then approved site supervisors pick up the food for distribution at their sites.

Tunstill said the program will again provide hot meals.  The program switched from cold sandwich bagged lunches last year.

"They asked if there was anything we could do to improve our menu and make it a little more palatable for children - something they would want to eat every day," he said, adding the program served an additional 50,000 lunches after the transition.

One of the sites that provides the meals is the Little Bulldog Summer Camp, which serves up to 180 kids each day.

"In the past, some kids are hungrier before lunch is even served," camp director Michelle Mitchell said.  "Just knowing that we have a balanced meal that's going to be prepared and served at lunchtime, eases that burden."

The program begins on Monday, June 10th and runs through Friday, August 9th.

The district is accepting applications to become a site until Friday.  Applications can be found at

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