CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Thousands of kids could spend the summer hungry if it weren’t for a summer program by the Charleston County School District.
More than 24,000 CCSD students are on free and reduced lunch, this program bridges the gap for those much-needed meals during the break.
“The problem doesn’t go away so this program helps feeds those kids free breakfast and lunch meals during the summer for nine weeks,” Jeremy Tunstill with CCSD’s Office of Nutrition Services said.
The program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture thorough the National School Lunch Program over the summer and Tunstill said the program costs the USDA about $824,000.
“It’s huge. It saves families money. It’s obvious a lot of families in Charleston have trouble putting food on the table,” Tunstill said.
The program runs for nine weeks and there are more than 70 open locations that provide breakfast and lunch free every day.
“We are averaging 4,600 lunches a day and 3,000 breakfasts a day, and that number will get up to 6,000 lunches and probably 4,500 breakfasts in the coming weeks,” Tunstill said.
The 74 open locations apply for the program and will keep their doors open all summer for kids not just in the Charleston County School District, but all kids under 18.
“God bless them 74 of them want to be open to the community and let any kid walk into their site and get a meal,” Tunstill said.
Of those 74 locations, the Charleston County Public Library has seven locations that CCSD delivers food to twice a day.
The Dorchester Road library branch had more than 60 kids walk through the food line on Tuesday.
“I’m glad they’re doing something like this and inspire parents to bring their kids as well. not only for the free meals but for the library,” Janelle Florendo said.
This was the first time she and her young son heard about the program.