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franklin county times

Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
June 12, 2003
Ramon White said his favorite things about the free-lunch program at Harris Upper Elementary are apples and spaghetti. White, 3, enjoyed his spaghetti so much, he decided to eat it with his fingers.
White is one of a group of 22 preschoolers from Sidnee's Playpen in Meridian who are taking advantage of a free lunch program offered at several elementary schools throughout the city. Trudy Rhone, who works at Sidnee's Playpen, said she plans to bring a group to eat lunch every day.
Rhone also said the free lunch is a good opportunity to get the kids out of the day care during the summer.
Harris Upper Elementary is the only school serving hot lunches, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on weekdays until July 25.
Sack lunches are available at three other schools until June 27. Stop by these schools on weekdays, between 11:30 a.m. and noon: Crestwood Elementary, Oakland Heights Elementary and Witherspoon Elementary.
Sack lunches will be available at Carver Elementary, during the same times, until July 2.
Tijuana Griffin, food service specialist for the Meridian Public School District said she wishes more people would take advantage of the service.
Griffin said the process is simple: Just show up.
Griffin said this is the second year the Meridian school district has offered free lunches during the summer. The program is offered by the Mississippi Child Nutrition Program. Griffin and Donna Freyaldenhoven, food service director for the Meridian district, oversee the program.
In addition to providing hot lunches, the program also seeks to educate children about the importance of healthy eating. The district also provides two assistants, Renae Carson and Hallie Freyaldenhoven, to play games and pass out information to the children.
Carson said she thinks the program is important because some kids don't get hot, nutritious meals during the summer.
For more information, call Tijuana Griffin at 484-4928.