PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Now that school is out for the summer, kids are enjoying the summer sun and definitely not missing out on school work. Thanks to the Pascagoula-Gautier School District’s Summer Feeding Program, they aren’t missing out on breakfast and lunch either.
“Children shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” said Sarah Busby, the Director of Child Nutrition for the Pascagoula-Gautier School District.
Busby is passionate about many things, but hungry children is not one of them.
“Today, we’re participating in our summer feeding program," Busby said. “It’s where we deliver meals to children because they are not being fed at school. We feed kids every day, breakfast and lunch, during the school year, 187 days."
Even during the summer months, when school is not in session, Busby feels she has a responsibility to the children in her district.
“Why stop feeding them in the summer?” Busby asked. "We know that they sometimes don’t get meals in the summertime when school’s closed.”
Busby said the USDA-sponsored program feeds children up to the age of 18 at Gautier High School and Colmer Middle School.
“We’re excited that there is a federal program out there that feeds our children for free,” Busby said.
Her teams serve the regular school menu Monday through Friday during the summer.
“Sometimes, they don’t have transportation to the schools, or we see situations where kids are walking five blocks to get to one of our sites, so we bought a food truck," Busby said. “We pack up our meals. We have sack lunches and turkey sandwiches. We change it up a little bit, and we bring the meals to the kids at their homes," Busby told WLOX.
At one complex on the stop, 22 out of the 33 kids that live there came out for the free lunch. One of the kids said the real meaning of the program wasn’t lost to him.
“It helps fight hunger and stuff. Sometimes, they give us healthy food to keep us healthy," said Trey’Darius Moore, a student of the program.
For a complete list of summer feeding programs along the Coast, visit here.