Free Summer Feeding Program to be offered in Jefferson County

Free Summer Feeding Program to be offered in Jefferson County
Christi Fink and Sonja Anthony
The "Lunch Ladies" who will be serving at Center Point High this summer
The "Lunch Ladies" who will be serving at Center Point High this summer

CENTER POINT, AL (WBRC) - Every day during the schools more than 38 thousand students in Jefferson county rely on their school cafeteria for healthy balanced meals. In the summer, many of those students, have been going hungry.

"I can't stand to see a hungry child. There is no reason a child should go hungry in this country," says Christi  Fink. She is a Child Nutrition Manager Center Point High, and making sure kids have healthy meals, is her passion.

"It's important to me. It's my heart. These children are my heart and seeing these children hungry on a daily basis is sometimes more than I can handle. I want to take them all in and feed them and take care of them. I love them all individually, and they know I love them," says Fink.

That's why she worked to spearhead the Summer Food Service Program in Jefferson County. It's paid for completely through the federal government. The district had to prove that more than 60 percent of their student population is on free or reduced lunches to qualify. It's a need Fink says she sees first hand.

"It's really important to me because I have lived in this area for 30 years and I see there is a need. Many of the children were going unfed during the summer. They are home and mom and dad or working or maybe mom and dad are home but they are struggling," says Fink.

Many of the students who partake in the summer meals, are athletes. It's one of the reason Fink wanted to get it started. One student athlete, lost a scholarship, because he couldn't stay in shape without healthy meals over the summer.

"We had a young man who got a scholarship to Morehouse College and over the summer his mom got sick and they weren't able to eat lunch like they normally would if she had not been sick and they were struggling and money was tight, and he lost his scholarship," Fink says tearfully.

Fink is also the president of the Alabama School Nutrition Association, and says there is a need across the state, and even the whole country. Similar programs are being offered in surrounding districts as well.

The Jefferson County Summer Feeding program Runs from June 4th – July 19th with the exception of the week of the 4th of July.

Meals are served at seven different schools scattered throughout the county, and are open to anyone  18 and under, even students who live outside the district.

"The kids I love it. Its open to the children in our area, but anyone 18 and under can come," says Fink.

Meals will be provided at the following sites:

Brighton School: 6/4-6/28/2018  (Monday-Thursday)
3400 Brown Circle
Brighton, Alabama 35020
Site Manager: Sandra Blutcher

Center Point High School: 6/5-7/19/2018   (Tuesday-Thursday)
1000 Eagle Drive
Birmingham, Alabama 35215
Site Manager: Christi Fink

Chalkville Elementary School: 6/4-7/19/2018  (Monday-Thursday)
940 Chalkville School Road
Birmingham, Alabama 35215
Site Manager: Becky Patterson

Clay-Chalkville High School: 6/5-7/26/2018  (Tuesday-Thursday)
6623 Roe Chandler Road
Pinson, Alabama 35126
Site Manager: Lisa Nix

Fultondale Elementary School: 6/4-6/21/2018  (Monday-Thursday)
950 Central Avenue
Fultondale, Alabama 35068
Site Manager: Brenda Rhodes

Minor High School: 6/5-7/19/2018  (Tuesday-Thursday)
2285 Minor Parkway
Adamsville, Alabama 35005
Site Manager: Lyshia Miller

Shades Valley High School: 6/5-7/19/2018   (Tuesday-Thursday)
6100 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, Alabama 35210
Site Manager: Vanessa Hawthorne

Meals will be served during the following times at all seven locations:
Breakfast: 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m
Lunch 11:00 am.-12:30 p.m.

*All locations will be closed July 1-7, 2018

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