Free summer food service programs in the Heartland - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Free summer food service programs in the Heartland

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

School is out and for some kids that means one less meal a day, so are there any options for families who need the help?

For the fourth year, a local church and volunteers are working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to keep food in the bellies of kids whose families maybe can't afford three meals a day.

Officials say you'd be surprised how many kids in the Heartland go to bed hungry every night.

But summer food service programs like the one at Greater Dimension Ministries in Cape Girardeau work to keep kids well fed.

Hundreds of kids stop by during the month of June while volunteers dish out balanced meals for free.

The program is really financed through donations and helps families who suffer financial strain while their kids are home all summer.

"I've had a family come in before and have 4 or 5 kids and she said this helps a lot because it helps with the grocery bill when funds are low when the kids are home during the summer and there's no summer school," said site coordinator Tina Wright. "Instead of getting free lunch or free breakfast. They have the worry about that the entire summer so this kind of helps."

Volunteers create a menu and fix all the food in-house.

The meals have to meet state requirements to ensure a healthy, balanced lunch.

Kids can stop by the church every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a little lunch starting on Monday.

This isn't the only summer food service program in the Heartland. The Department of Health and Senior Services is partnering with churches in New Madrid County to provide free meals to students there as well.

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