Jackie Westfield, programs coordinator at the CSA, said children who would otherwise receive free or reduced-price lunches at school are left with fewer chances to eat nutritious meals during the summer.
She said that is why the agency tries to help by providing children “the same high quality meals” they would receive at school. Children can visit participating locations each weekday and can eat meals while they are there.
“This year, we are reaching out, trying to reach new kids,” Westfield said.
The program will start at most locations on Tuesday and run through at least July 30, said Westfield. Most locations offer a lunchtime meal only, but some also choose to offer breakfast and suppertime meals.
There are 22 locations where Bradley County children can walk in and receive free lunches, plus five that are limited to participants in regular activities there.
Westfield said even more locations could still be added, as the CSA is still looking for new ones to add to the list.
Unlike the free and reduced lunch programs in schools, children and teens do not need to register to receive lunches as part of the CSA’s summer feeding program. If they are hungry, they can eat whenever the meals are available at a given location — with one caveat.
“We do prefer that if they are going to a site with other organized activities ... they notify the staff,” Westfield said.
She said that is to make sure there is enough food prepared at each site. However, she added that all the sites would do their best to serve all who show up wanting a meal.
The food itself is what a child might see in a school cafeteria. Westfield said all the sites preparing and serving food must meet the same nutritional guidelines and exclude foods commonly known to be allergy-inducing, such as peanut butter.
But the planned summer menu will also feature kid-friendly items like pizza and corn dogs on occasion.
“We try to vary the menu so they have what they like,” she said.
Free meals are available to children on weekdays at the following 22 locations at the times and dates listed:
n ASU at Blythe-Bower Elementary School at 604 20th St. S.E. from noon to 1 p.m., May 29 through Aug. 3
n ASU at E.L. Ross Elementary School at 4340 Mouse Creek Road from noon to 1 p.m., May 28 through June 30
n Benton Boys & Girls Club at 280 Campbell Road in Benton from noon to 12:30 p.m. and 3 to 3:30 p.m., June 3 through Aug. 3
n Blythe Boys & Girls Club at 1075 Blythe Ave. from noon to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 4 p.m., May 28 through Aug. 3
n Bradley Central High School at 1000 S. Lee Highway from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., July 8 through 25
n Church of God Community of Hope at 3815 Old Tasso Road from 6 to 6:45 p.m., July 22 through 26
n Church of God Sanctified at 746 First St. from 6 to 8 p.m., June 4 through 8
n Cleveland Family YMCA at 220 Urbane Rd. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., May 28 through Aug. 2
n Cleveland High School at 850 Raider Drive from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and noon to 12:30 p.m., June 3 through 20.
n Cleveland State Boys & Girls Club at 3535 Adkisson Drive from noon to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 4 p.m., May 28 through Aug. 3
- College Hill Recreation Center at 264 Berry St. from noon to 1 p.m., June 3 through Aug. 3
- Horizon Square Apartments at 2324 Georgetown Road from noon to 1 p.m., June 3 through Aug. 3
- Mosby Park at 264 Berry St. from noon to 1 p.m., June 3 through Aug. 3
- Painter Boys & Girls Clubs at 841 11th St. from noon to 12:40 and 3 to 3:30 - - May 28 through Aug. 3
- Powers Boys & Girls Clubs at 1204 Lay St. from noon to 12:30 and 3 to 3:30 p.m., May 28 through Aug. 3
-Ocoee Middle School at 2250 N. Ocoee St. from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., June 3 through 28
- St. James Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 151 Short St. from 7 to 8:30 -, June 10 through 14
-South Cleveland Community Center at 1334 Church St. from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., June 3 through Aug. 2
- through Aug. 2
n Tucker Boys & Girls Clubs at 385 Third St. from noon to 12:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., May 28 through Aug. 2
n Unity Center at 685 Benton Pike N.E. from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. June 3 through 28
n Walker Valley High School at 750 Lauderdale Memorial Highway from 9:30 to 9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to noon July 8 through 25.
All sites will be closed for the July 4 holiday, Westfield said.
For more information about the summer feeding program, call 479-4111.