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Free meals program starts Monday — Anyone 18 or younger is invited to participate

The summer food program that allows children 18 and under to eat for free starts Monday.

Breakfast and lunch will be served at Mamie Martin Elementary and Lipsey School, with only lunch served at Mullins School.

Breakfast is available 7:30 a.m. to 8:55 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The program continues on weekdays through June 29.

Sponsored by the Brookhaven School District for more than 30 years, the Summer Food Service Program is a community service which provides free meals to any child — no matter the income or residency — who is 18 years old and younger. Child Nutrition Director Tonya McSweyn said last summer they served 7,291 lunches and over 3,300 breakfasts.

The Summer Food Service Program ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session, but the program is free to all children, McSweyn said. No paperwork is required to participate, just a hearty appetite. Parents do not get to eat for free and meals aren’t available to purchase, however, McSweyn encourages them to come and sit with their children while they eat their meal.

“In order to continue to provide this service in the summer we must keep our participation numbers as high as possible so we encourage everyone to bring their children out to eat,” she said. “If you are part of a Vacation Bible School program, you can bring your group to eat lunch at any of our sites.”

Breakfasts on a rotating menu include French toast sticks, pancakes, yogurt, bacon, fruit cup, grits, scrambled eggs and sausage and pancake on a stick. All breakfasts are served with fruit juice and milk.

The lunch menu includes such favorites aS pizza, chicken tenders, bacon cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, turkey and cheese hoagies and chili cheese tots. Ice cream and fruit freezes are typical desserts served. Milk is served with every meal.

“Our favorite thing about operating the program is being able to provide hot breakfast and lunch to children that may otherwise not have a hot meal option,” McSweyn said.

For breakfast and lunch menus, go to www.olebrookcafe.org and click on “Summer Meal Program.”