Friday, July 13, 2012
Parish President Natalie Robottom, Councilman Lennix Madere and members of her administrative staff served lunch at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School to children participating in St. John’s Summer Feeding Program. Also on hand to visit the feeding program were Council members Larry Snyder and Marvin Perrilloux. “My career was in the school system and I know the importance of the program St. John and the state offer these children. I was happy to be a part of it and see the program in action,” said Councilman District 3, Lennix Madere.
Meals for all children 18 years and younger who reside in St. John the Baptist Parish are available Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at six (6) locations throughout the parish, Garyville/Mt. Airy Math & Science Magnet School, Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, Fifth Ward Elementary, West St. John High School, East St. John Elementary School and New Wine Christian Fellowship Center. Breakfast is available from 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. at Garyville/Mt. Airy Math & Science Magnet School, East St. John Elementary School, and New Wine Christian Center. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the program has served an average of 307 breakfast meals and 1,614 lunches per day. Transportation is also provided to the feeding locations.
Health and Human Services Director, Rhonda Lemons expressed the importance of the summer program for children, "Please be encouraged that what we are doing here in St. John’s Summer Feeding Program helps to reduce this alarming statistic. It is important that we continue our efforts to ensure all children in the parish are being fed." According to Emily Buckman Buday, USDA FNS Outreach Strategists, more than 21 million children nationally receive free and reduce-priced breakfast and lunch while school is in session, and yet, when school is out, slightly more than 3 million receive a meal through a summer program.
The Summer Feeding Program works closely with many of the summer camps throughout St. John Parish including the St. John Parish Recreation Department and local church camps. Through June, the program has served over 30,000 meals between breakfast and lunch. “I enjoy coming back to the school environment and interacting with children. It is where I spent most of my career. I can see the appreciation on some of the kids’ faces as this meal is sometimes one of the best ones they receive each day,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.
The Summer Feeding Program is scheduled to end Thursday, July 19, 2012. For information on transportation or locations, please contact the Health and Human Services Department at 985-536-4955.