AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Austintown Elementary School began its free summer breakfast and lunch program on Monday for children age 1 through 18.
The federally-funded program started five years ago in Austintown when Food Service Director Tascin Brooks saw the poverty levels rising in the area.
“Austintown Schools is about 52 percent free and reduced lunch now, and there’s definitely a need,” she said. “It’s not just a need for the kids that are free and reduced. There’s a lot of kids that don’t qualify for that program that just don’t always have the availability to get a meal because…parents are working or they’re busy.”
She says the program has evolved over time. It now helps out local summer camps in addition to families in need.
Brooks says it’s also a good way to introduce kids coming into kindergarten next year to the lunch room.
The program provides adult meals as well for about $3.