Jun 28, 2017

Summer Food, Fun, and Education


Even though it had a new location this year, the Pickerington Schools Summer Food Program has been a success in serving Pickerington students with food, fun and education!

The meals are sponsored by the USDA, so are free for all children between ages 0 and 18. All meals must be eaten on site. Lunch is being served at Harmon Middle School from 11:30 a.m. to 1p.m. through the end of June.

During the program, there have been many learning and social opportunities for the students to keep their brains engaged. They held special events like “Zoo Day” and Bio Med Science Student Day. They also had days that were dedicated to a specific theme. Mondays were Donato’s Pizza day, Fridays were library day, and Tuesdays were Ohio State University Extension health and Nutrition day.

“This program gives the community a chance to come together,” said Diane Sommers, who is part of the OSU Extension SNAP Education Program. “It allows the children in the area to come to a safe environment with healthy nutritious food, as well as take part in learning opportunities with other organizations that come visit.”

Sommers has talked with the children every Tuesday about My Plate, different healthy fruits and physical activity. She even brought the 2016 Millersport Sweet Corn Festival Queen, Melissa Sommers, as a guest to talk about vegetables.

The Summer Food Program had assistance from internal help as well.

National Honor Society students from both high schools have volunteered time to the Summer Food Program. Morgan McDonald from Pickerington High School North was eager to volunteer for many reasons, but mostly because the program helps provide meals to community children who may not have one at home.

“I know some of my friends, the only meal they get is the meal during school,” said McDonald. “When summer comes they spend a lot of time trying to find out how they are going to eat. I think the program is really good. It is a lot of help for families in need.”

The program has served more than 2,000 meals so far in June.

“We were pleased with the outcome of the students participating in the program for lunch,” said Judy Riley, the Supervisor of Food Service at Pickerington Schools. “Even though we moved sites we seemed to feed around 100 kids on most days.”

OSU Extension Rep and 2016 Millersport Sweet Corn Festival Queen