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Summer Food Service Program Begins

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
Summer Food Service Program Begins


ELMIRA (WENY) --- Every Summer, thousands of children in the Twin Tiers rely on the federally-funded Summer Feeding Program. Now that school's out, that program provides kids with two nutritious meals a day.
      The Ernie Davis Community Center began serving meals today.
     Today is the first time Matthew Bulkley, his wife and their two children are sitting down for a healthy meal as a family in weeks.
     "Just today, I'm coming back for one day to hang out with my kids and family," said Bulkley. "Then tomorrow, I have to go right back to work. It's hard on us because we're not able to see eachother or be around eachother and yet even then we're struggling to sustain our family."
     He works an overnight minimum wage job and his wife works as much as she can while raising their 1-year-old and 3-year-old children.
     "We sometimes don't even eat breakfast or lunch we sometimes go on one meal a day," said his wife, Ellen.
     The two meals a day they're eating at the Ernie Davis Community Center are free. A handful of locations in Chemung County Serve them as well.
     The Center has prepared 75 meals for the day and expect those numbers to go up as the Summer continues.
     "Kids are hungry and we know they're hungry, so it's just a good way to give them at least one to two nutritious meals a day," said Anita Lewis, Vice President of Donor Relations for the Economic Opportunity Program.
     Many parents say ever-increasing grocery prices, puts them face to face with tough decisions.
     Robert Collins brought his granddaughter here today, to teach her about healthy choices.
     "Everything that's out there is junk food," said Collins. "I'm trying to show her better eating habits."
     The food is made by people in the Community Food for Job Program, which provides job training, education, and placement.
     "It's a way to help the community out with the way inflation is, it's a way to help the community out," said Chester Keys.
     The Ernie Davis Community Center will be serving meals until August 22nd.
    Here is a schedule of Chemung County Sites:

Frontline Community and Youth Center
Monday-Friday
June 30-August 29
Lunch 2:30-3:30 p.m.

A'Don Allen Early Childhood Center
Monday-Friday
July 7-August 14
Lunch 12:00-12:30 p.m.
Snack 3:00-3:30 p.m.

Ernie Davis Community Center
Monday-Friday
July 7-August 22
Lunch 11:00 a.m-12:30 p.m. 

You can find more locations by visiting this site: http://www.whyhunger.org/findfood