PAULDING – LaFountain Park will be the place to be around lunchtime this summer. Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC) will again sponsor the Summer Food Service Program in Paulding, but the location has changed from last year.
This year all children ages 1-18, or to 21 with an IEP, can enjoy a free, nutritious meal, prepared by Paulding County Senior Center, on Monday-Friday, June 10-Aug. 9, except July 4.
Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at LaFountain Park, 700 Lincoln Ave., with activities from 12-12:45 p.m.
Gerilyn Larson, of Paulding, is site supervisor, and will be present at all SFSP activities.
Mayor Greg White agreed to allow use of LaFountain Park as a site for the Summer Food Service Program this year. This site is a great choice because it is next to the swimming pool, making it easily accessible to children whose parents allow them to swim after attending SFSP.
Last year, the Summer Food Service Program was held at Kiwanis Community Center, which will serve as the backup site in case of bad storms with lightning or extremely hot temperatures this summer.
Based on the latest MR81 report provided by Ohio Department of Education, 777 out of 1,262, or 61.57 percent of students attending Paulding Exempted Village Schools, qualify for free/reduced lunches. With school out for the summer, many of these children may not receive a nourishing and well balanced meal for a variety of reasons.
To help fill this gap, the USDA funds the Summer Food Service Program, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Education. In addition to the Paulding site, NOCAC sponsors sites in Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams counties.
NOCAC, Paulding County Senior Center and other community groups and members, served 117 unduplicated children and 628 healthy lunches last summer at the local Kiwanis center. This year will be the program’s second year in Paulding and NOCAC is working to spread the word to even more families to bring their children for a free meal and fun.
The SFSP still needs volunteers to help during mealtime serving the food, or to provide activities. To date, the following local organizations, churches, schools and businesses are providing volunteers.
Volunteering to help with food service are: National Honor Society, First Christian Church, Job and Family Services-Children’s Services, Huntington Bank, Free Christian Church of God, Nazarene Church and Paulding Senior Center.
Volunteers providing activities include Paulding Exempted Village School volleyball and football teams; Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Paulding County Carnegie Library, Ann’s Bright Beginnings Preschool, Free Christian Church of God, Job and Family Services-Children’s Services, and Paulding County Senior Center.
Community organizations, businesses and individuals interested in volunteering, as well as parents or anyone else interested in learning more about the program can call Wendy Bryant Scheurich, SFSP coordinator, at NOCAC’s Defiance office at 419-784-5136, ext. 1120, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meals will be provided in accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy. In accordance with federal law and USDA policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.