Free meals offered Denham Springs kids this summer

Youngsters in the city will be able to get free meals this summer.

The program will provide breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 or younger, Mayor Jimmy Durbin said.

Many children get a large part of their food at school, so this is an important program to make sure they get sufficient nutrition during the summer months, he said.

There will be no cost to the city, the mayor said.

The program will be financed by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant routed through a nonprofit organization that has experience in operating food centers, said Councilman Arthur Perkins, who spearheaded the project.

Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m., and lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. The meals will be offered five days a week at the Louise Lockhart Center at West Livingston Recreation Park, Perkins said.

Supervised activities for children also will be provided, he said.

Durbin said volunteers will be needed to help with that part of the program.

The program will operate from May 27 through the end of July.

James “Sonny” Maddox, of Albany, will be the site supervisor on location, representing Bridge Builders/Sweet Homes, the organization that will handle the program, city officials said.

The nonprofit organization will be reimbursed $1.98 for each child served breakfast $3.47 for each child served lunch, said Donna Jennings, who worked on the program for the city.

Children will not have to show a need for public assistance in order to be fed, she said.

It’s designed for young people in the city, but there are no plans to turn away any children who are hungry, Durbin said.