Fifty-one percent of Oberlin public school students qualify for free and reduced price lunches during the school year, but are left hungry during the summer.
The Summer Food Service Program ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session —vital, considering the city’s 21 percent poverty rate.
This summer, Oberlin Community Services plans to serve more than 300 free meals a week to ages 18 years and under. Lunch is available from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday all summer.
In the past, Oberlin has been home to only one site for food distribution — Prospect Elementary School — but now meals are being served at Eastwood Elementary, Oberlin Community Services, and nearly every summer kids program in the city, and the list will grow through July.
“Between Prospect and Eastwood, we go through 150 meals a day. Our other sites combined go through 50 a day as of now, but we anticipate a total of 300 by July,” said food programs coordinator Hannah Rosenberg.
The food is routed down through the food bank chain and delivered by the Elyria school district. In the future, Oberlin hopes to be in charge of its own food delivery program.
“We try to make as few barriers to entry as possible. No ID, no proof of residency or income, no line, no paperwork,” Rosenberg said. “We try to keep the stigma to as little or no existence as possible.”
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.