Hattiesburg begins summer feeding program

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - More than 2,000 free meals will be provided to students each day this summer as a part of Hattiesburg Public Schools' summer food service program (SFSP).

"The summer program is very important because you don't know who's hungry and who's not hungry," said HPS child nutrition manager Latosha Scott.

SFSP targets children living in districts where 50 percent or more of the child population qualifies for free or reduced lunch. According to the district's child nutrition director Stephanie Hoze, 90 percent of HPS students qualify for free or reduced meals during the school year. Through the summer program, any person under the age of 18 can receive a free breakfast or lunch during June and July.

"It means continuing good nutrition all summer and all year long," said Hoze.

Meals will be served throughout the summer at Hattiesburg High School, N.R. Burger Middle School and Thames Elementary.

HPS communications director Jas N Smith said that parents are welcome to eat for a very low price.

The program is an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service's office. Mississippi is one of five states identified by USDA to increase sponsors and sites for the summer program.

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