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Harrison County School District helps curb child hunger

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 7:53 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Millions across the county are having issues accessing healthy, fresh foods. Whether people are having issues from lack of grocery stores, low wages, or lost of income, the Harrison County School District is stepping in to help children under 18.

The school district’s Summer Feeding Program offers both breakfast and lunch meals for free to children. The program has a drive-thru system to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19.

Child Nutrition Programs Director Bradley Barlow said that the district wanted to both meals at a time for drivers’ convenience.

“This year, we’re offering breakfast and lunch together,” said Barlow. “The United States Department of Agriculture, which funds our program, allows us to do that so parents won’t have to make two trips. Our service times 10:30 to one o’clock daily at nine different locations.”

The Summer Feeding Program locations include:

  • Bel-Aire Elementary
  • D’Iberville Elementary
  • Harrison Central Elementary
  • North Gulfport Middle
  • Pineville Elementary
  • Three Rivers Elementary
  • West Northern Elementary and Middle
  • Woolmarket Elementary

Barlow said the district made sure to have a drive-thru and prepackaged meals so parents and guardians’ convenience.

“Most of our items are grab and go and prepackaged, so parents that may be working over the summer or have limited time to prepare meals, we make it easy for them,” said Barlow. “You can just drive through and get a breakfast and lunch meal with a child present, or if you have an enrolled camp, we can provide meals for large groups too.”

Patricia Moore is no stranger to the drive-thru and is a fan favorite of the Philly chicken sandwiches. Moore said that she’s happy to be a part of a community that provides numerous resources.

“The fact that they’re coming together as one to help people out is amazing,” said Moore. “It is such a great thing to see and I’m grateful. I just would like for more people to come and support them because this is such a wonderful thing that they’re doing for the community.”

The school district said the USDA has extended the Summer Feeding Program for all of Harrison County’s nine locations until the end of September.

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