The Thomasville YMCA is on a mission to help feed the students of Thomas County over the summer.
Since 1998, the Thomasville YMCA has been serving the students of Thomas County by providing them with free breakfast and lunch during the summer months at specific locations throughout the county.
This summer there are 34 state-approved sites spread throughout the county, including Meigs, Pavo, Ochlockee, Barwick and Boston, which serve from noon until 1 p.m.
According to Cindy Quigg, the YMCA Summer Foods Program coordinator, during the first week of the program, an average of 18,000 meals were given to students, ages 18 and under.
On Wednesday, a total of 2,700 breakfasts and 2,700 lunches were sent out to the 34 sites.
The YMCA Summer Foods Program is designed to serve meals to the students who typically participate in the reduced lunch meals while in school. It keeps the students fed while school is out for the summer.
“A lot of these kids will not be getting a meal if we don’t feed them,” said Quigg.
All meals are USDA approved and funded. It is also administered by Bright from the Start, a Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning the is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families.
During the first week of providing meals, the sites were surprised with an inspection by the USDA to ensure the sites were following proper procedure. Each site passed the inspection.
Makeacha Butler has served meals for students with the YMCA Summer Program for the past nine years.
She has found it to be beneficial to her and the community.
“It makes me feel good to do it. It’s very beneficial to the kids over the summer because they are not doing without while school is out for summer,” said Butler.
Butler serves at the Rivers of Life Church site. She reported more than 60 students are served at the site daily.
“There is a need for the Summer Foods Program in Thomas County, as the numbers show with 18,000 students being served during the first week,” said Quigg.
For more information on the Summer Foods Program or to find a site closest to you, contact Quigg at (229) 226-3446.
Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.