Program Gives Children Hot Meals During Summer

Tuesday's choice was hamburger or rib sandwich to go along with the hot English peas and carrots, an orange and, of course, milk. Hamburger was by far the food of choice.

Cafeteria manager Elsie Tarber doesn't care which entree the children eat, just that they eat.

"I just love kids and can't stand the thought of one being hungry," Tarber says.

George County School's Food Service Director Terrell Read says a USDA study showed a good portion of American children aren't getting good nutrition at home.

"What they found was there's a high population of children who throughout the school year, the meals that they eat at school are the only hot decent meal they get during the course of the day. That's kind of scary if you think about it," Read says.

Tarber knows some George County children aren't getting fed at all.

"I know some kids that if they get one meal a day, they're lucky," Tarber adds.

So if the hot meal, or for some the only meal, is at school, Read wanted to keep the kids coming even during summer.

"Any child 0 to 18, regardless of their financial standing in the school system, can come here and get a hot meal free of charge," Read adds.

On average, some 200 kids stop by the middle school and grab some lunch everyday. [

When they leave, Tarber and Read don't have to worry. At least those children got a hot, nutritious meal today.