Phenix City Schools Child Nutrition Program (PCSCNP) reaches record numbers in its Summer Feeding Program. The program directly benefits PCS students and families. The feeding program serves SOAR Summer Academy students daily and offers curbside service every Thursday at noon in many locations.

The past two weeks have yielded record-setting results for the PCSCNP. In week one of the program 10,702 meals were prepared and served to children facing food insecurity. Last week, 3,220 curbside meals were given to the community during a single lunch session, another record-setting moment.

Summer feeding consists of two programs this summer. All students attending SOAR programs receive breakfast and lunch meals. In addition to that, any student under the age of 18 years old can receive meals at community sites. June community sites offer “Curbside Grab and Go Meals” every Thursday at noon and ends on June 30, 2022. The June distribution centers are listed: Central High School, Phenix City Intermediate School, Frederick Douglas Apartments, Franchise Missionary Baptist Church, Riverview Apartments, LP Stough Apartments, and Spencer Recreation Center. Knowledge Works Learning Academy, Phenix City Youth Center, and Roy Martin Center offer daily meals.

Each student 18 and under arrives at a distribution location and receives five breakfasts and five lunches. Meals meet at least two-thirds of the recommended daily dietary allowances. One student said his favorite snack included in his meal kit was carrots.

This program developed from the increasing need for food security during COVID-19 and PCSCNP began serving meals once a week through their curbside program.

Alana Jones is Phenix City Schools’ Child Nutrition Supervisor. She has worked in the child nutrition field since 2006 and has served in her current role for four years.

“The most rewarding part of our job as Child Nutrition Professionals is the smiles we receive when we hand each child we serve a nutritious meal. Our number one priority is feeding kids. The summer feeding program helps hard-working moms and dads ensure their children receive nutritious meals for their children during the summer. We know many parents rely on the meals provided by our school system during the school year. When school takes a break, we partner with organizations in the community to distribute these meals in the places where children live, learn and play during the summer, providing kids and teens in low-income areas free meals when school is out. Any child under 18 years old can receive these free meals from one of our distribution locations,” said Jones.

PCSCNP estimates it will serve 80,000 meals to Phenix City children under 18 years old this summer. It utilizes 19 distribution sites, and 21 CNP employees prepare, transport, and serve meals across the city.

The largest meal program is Central High School which serves approximately 1,000 meals daily and 250 additional meals on Thursdays.Phenix City Board of Education member, Florence Bellamy coordinates another distribution center is at Franchise Missionary Baptist Church. That is the largest volunteer-based distribution center comprised of church members committed to lessening community hunger.

This program is a part of The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as the Summer Meals Program. It provides kids and teens in low-income areas free meals when school is out. The SFSO is a federally-funded, state-administered program. The Child Nutrition Program is a cooperative effort involving the superintendent, central office staff, principals, cafeteria managers, assistant managers, employees, teachers, students, parents, and the community.

The Child Nutrition Program operates under the regulations of the National School Lunch Act, regulations of the Alabama State Department of Education, and the Phenix City Board of Education. The mission of the Phenix City Schools CNP is to be a part of the education process by providing students with nutritious meals and nutrition education experiences that promote healthy children who are ready to learn. The program has three goals: provide attractive, nutritious, well-balanced meals to every child and staff member in the Phenix City Public Schools, work towards providing a nutritional analysis of each meal served, and positively promote the CNP in schools and the community.

The program will change slightly in July. Community sites for July meal distribution are Central High School, Knowledge Works Learning Academy, Phenix City Youth Center, and Roy Martin Center.