USDA takes notice of Huntsville feeding program
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The second year of Huntsville City Schools' summer feeding program is on tap for continued growth and success.
Joseph K. Vaughn, director of child nutrition and extended-day programs, said more than 98,000 hot meals were served to children last summer. This figure bests the number the entire rest of the state provided - some 30,000 meals.
Vaughn said he hopes to serve more than 125,000 meals in the second year of the program.
"I can't stand the thought of any child going hungry," he said. "Child hunger is problem not only in Huntsville, it's a problem all across the country."
According to NoKidHungry.org, 16 million children live in households without consistent access to adequate food. 3 million low-income children receive free meals in the summer when school is out.
Huntsville's success has led reprsentatives from the United States Department of Agriculture to make arrangements to learn more about how the city school system runs the program.
Parents and grandparents said the program helps alleviate the problem of child hunger within the city and helps stretch their food dollar at home.
"A lot of them probably would not eat on time if they did not have this program," said director Ted Walton."
Walton said he thinks it a blessing that the city has agreed to let children with a special bus pass ride the shuttles for free to get to their meals.
Working mother Djuna Threatt utilizes the program.
"When I get home from work, I don't have to rush and go straight to the kitchen," she said.
She is a social worker for the county, and said without the program, some families might struggle through the summer months.
"I believe in healthy meals for my children. If we can feed one child in Huntsville that would have gone hungry that day, then the program has been a success," she said.
For a printable map that includes the operating times of each participating school and bus routes, click here (PDF).
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