Schools, food pantries ready to help hungry kids this summer

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Angie Gotto is the food service director at Perry County School District 32, and says they serve more than 7,000 breakfasts and more than 14,000 lunches during their 20-day summer feeding program.

"There are a lot of children in our area that do not have food at home that sometimes these are the only two meals they get in a day," Gotto said. "It brings joy to my heart to see the children be fed and know they have something in their tummy before they go home that day."

Assistant Superintendent Jeanie White says they want to make sure no child in Perry County goes hungry.

That is why they're inviting anyone under the age of 18, from nearby schools, parochial organizations and summer programs to take advantage of the free meals they serve.

"We have to create those bonds, and I think this gives us an opportunity to open our doors and say we are here for you. We want to help you. We would like to serve you, and work together because these are our kids."

There are other free food options open all summer long.

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Joey Keys with SEMO Food Bank says they partner with 180 food pantries in the 16 counties they serve to supply fresh produce and protein to people in need.

"One of four children in our area don't know where their next meal is coming from," Keys said. "We have the agencies available to receive food. We have A-B-C mobile pantries. The initiative in Perryville is very exciting. We love to see when other people in the community step up to provide for the hungry especially children."

The summer feeding program in Perryville is on weekdays from May 30th until June 26th. Breakfast is served from 7:15 to 8:30 am, and lunch is served from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

"We simply ask that children who are not enrolled in District 32 summer programs to contact us so we can have an accurate count for meal planning," White said. "If the call a week ahead we can have the food available for them. The number is 573-547-7500, and my extension is 328."

To find the nearest food pantry to you, just visit the SEMO Food Bank website or ask your child's school.

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