Virginia Public Schools ensure kids don’t go hungry over the summer

(Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)

VIRGINIA BEACH — While 76-percent of educators say their students show up to school hungry every day, public schools here are offering meals to children over the summer.

School officials sent out a news release announcing the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded a program allowing kids to grab breakfast and lunch without having to verify income, identity, or enrollment at the school.

“Children only need to show up at an open summer meal site during the designated hours to receive a meal,” officials said.

Virginia Beach Public Schools spokeswoman Rosemary Gladden said this is the fourth year the school district has been participating in the program and plans to serve more than 50,000 meals this summer.

“We anticipate 29,000 breakfast meals and 24,000 lunches since the program also covers meals for students in any of our summer schools, summer slide, and science, technology, engineering and math camps,” she said.

According to No Kid Hungry, low-income families would have to spend more than $300 a month on groceries during the summer without resources like the Virginia Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program.

No Kid Hungry Virginia State Director Claire Mansfield said “summer meal sites are an opportunity for children to get the nutrition they need while school is out.”

The national campaign also runs a texting service to help families find summer meal sites in their neighborhood.

By texting ‘FOOD’ to 877-877, residents here will see these schools serving meals this summer.

School Dates  Hours Available
Birdneck Elementary
Luxford Elementary
Holland Elementary
Williams Elementary
Mon – Thu
Jun 17 – Aug 16
8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
11:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lynnhaven Elementary Mon – Thu
Jun 18 – Jul 3
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
11:30 p.m. – noon
Green Run Elementary Mon – Thu
Jul 8 – Jul 31
8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Bayside Elementary
Newton Elementary
Parkway Elementary
Point O’View Elementary
Windsor Oaks Elementary
Kempsville Meadows
White Oaks Elementary
Shelton Park Elementary
Mon – Thu
Jul 8 – Aug 1
8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Rosemont Elementary Mon – Thu
Jul 8 – Aug 1
8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Seatack Elementary Mon – Thu
Jul 8 – Aug 1
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.