June 2020 marks an exciting milestone for the Food for the Summer partnership, and we are excited to share plans to expand the program under a new name, “Food for Students.”
Launched by Mayor Pam Hemminger in 2016, Food for the Summer has provided 192,000 summer meals to children at camps and meal sites throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro, with almost 100,000 of those meals delivered by community volunteers. The program also incorporates enrichment opportunities into lunchtimes such as free books from Book Harvest, Fun Buckets filled with activities and pop-in visitors from the police and fire departments, nutrition and recreation experts, and more.
This spring, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) Child Nutrition team, along with community partners and volunteers, quickly deployed the summer meal site model when school closure due to coronavirus left students without access to school meals. Named “Food for Students,” the program has utilized USDA funds, private donations and community volunteer support to provide over 300,000 meals at 37 meal sites since mid-March.
“Over the past several years, we’ve hosted meal sites to provide students with breakfast, lunch and snacks during other school closures,” said CHCCS Child Nutrition Director, Liz Cartano. “So it makes sense, especially now, to broaden the organization’s mission to include flexibility for feeding students year-round.”
“In addition to providing food and enrichment, Food for the Summer’s strong reliance on volunteers has brought our community closer together,” said Mayor Pam Hemminger. “I am deeply grateful to the school district, Town, Inter-Faith Council, PORCH, TABLE and all of our volunteers for their partnership on this important effort, and am excited to see the program continue to grow.”
Food for Students will continue to provide meals on weekdays at 37 sites throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro this summer. In addition, through collaboration with the Town of Chapel Hill’s Parks & Recreation department, Book Harvest and other organizations, the program will provide enrichment activities throughout the summer.
For more information on meal sites, volunteer opportunities, or how to support the program with a donation, please visit: www.foodforstudents.info.