Summer meals and learning opportunities offered in Campbell

CAMPBELL, Ohio (WYTV) – The Campbell City School District is offering free breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 years old and younger. It’s the first time the district is participating in the program.

The food service is also blending in learning opportunities for students at the same time. The program is popular and new families are coming every day.

Breakfast and lunch are available. In Campbell, eight out of 10 students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the district wants to make sure kids don’t go hungry in the summer.

“We just want to make sure the opportunity was available for families and students to eat,” said Principal Jim Klingensmith, Campbell K through 7th grade.

Campbell High School and the Kindergarten through 7th grade buildings are running the summer meals program.

Mary Jo Paris and her four granddaughters are regulars, and she’s telling others about it.

“I’d like to come out and see more families support this program. It is wonderful for the kids,” Paris said. It’s healthy, a wide variety of food. Just a wonderful program.”

Klingensmith said parents are excited and thankful for the meals but there’s more to the program than just serving food. There is a focus on academics, too.

Three academic programs are going on in conjunction with the summer meals. There is a youth intensive program, a summer camp run by Youngstown State University, and a third grade remediation program.

“We want to make it not as academically intensive as school. We want there to be some learning going on, but in a fun, therapeutic kind of way,” said Cory Strozier, Youth Intensive Services.

Campbell’s summer meals program is open to any students, not just those from Campbell.

Austintown is also offering free breakfast and lunch at the elementary school campus.

The Ohio Department of Education is also working with communities across the state for summer meal programs. That includes locations in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties.