Sometimes lunch is free
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 14, 2012
By ROBIN SHANNON
LAPLACE – Thursday marks the final day for residents in St. John the Baptist Parish to take advantage of the parish’s annual free summer food program at public schools across the region.
Children 18 and under and adults with special needs are eligible to receive a free lunch, or breakfast in some areas, as part of the parish’s participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s summer food service program.
No registration is needed for participation in the program, and it is open to all residents of St. John Parish. The meals are free for children, but adults without special needs must pay a $3.50 fee, said Parish spokesperson Paige Falgoust.
Falgoust said the parish has operated the feeding program for the past 23 years.
She said the program is open to any child residing in St. John Parish and also serves children participating in local summer camp programs. She said about 1,700 children participate.
“School buses go down the major streets in the parish to pick up kids and bring them to the nearest participating location,” Falgoust said. “The program kicked off in June, and we have served nearly 30,000 meals.”
Members of Parish President Natalie Robottom’s administration spent some time Wednesday morning dishing out lunches to children taking advantage of the meals at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School. The makeshift staff of directors and some council members served about 200 children.
“It is always a pleasure for me and my staff to come out to one of our schools and serve the meals to the kids,” Robottom said.
The meals are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at six locations across the parish, including Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, 3328 U.S. 51, LaPlace; New Wine Christian Fellowship Center, 2003 W. Airline Highway, LaPlace; East St. John Elementary, 400 Ory Drive, LaPlace; Fifth Ward Elementary, 158 Panther Drive, Reserve; Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet, 240 Louisiana Highway 54, Garyville; and West St. John Elementary, 2555 Louisiana Highway 18, Edgard.
Garyville/Mt. Airy and New Wine also serve breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. For more information about the program call 985-536-4955.