WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Summer camps are a no-go in Lycoming County this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, city leaders are making sure children still have meals they would be getting if they did attend camp.
The summer lunch program kicked off this week in Williamsport, providing kids with a free lunch two days out of the week. The program is a little different this year due to COVID, but nonetheless those in the community are making sure everyone is still fed.
In a normal world, kids would be getting ready to spend their summer at day camp in Williamsport. But these days, nothing is normal and changes were made in the city to keep everyone safe.
“We don’t have a summer camp to provide the outdoor activity but 2, 3 hours out of the day they can still come out and get lunches and do certain little things at the park they normally wouldn’t be able to do,” said Kayla Drummond, the recreation coordinator for Williamsport.
“The summer camp situation was a let-down however you know providing the meals for kids makes up for that a little bit,” said Andrea Page of Williamsport.
Despite no summer camps, the summer meals program is offered every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lunches are provided in Newberry, Brandon and Shaw parks for any child 18 and under. All you have to do is walk up and grab a meal.
“So as soon as school lets out, students lose the opportunity to get breakfast and lunch through the educational program so these park and recreation programs and summer camp programs they have the ability to still feed these children and make sure they’re getting healthy meals on a regular basis,” said Abigail Eschbach, agency services coordinator.
“I don’t know if people are really familiar with, some people don’t know the only meal a kid gets is when they go to school whether it be breakfast or lunch or an after school snack,” said Kayla Drummond.
“We’re making sure were hitting all the five food groups some of the meals come with fresh fruits and vegetables we do milk we do sandwiches but we also do hot meals that can be reheated,” said Lara Denune, programs coordinator.
Andrea Page has four children. She tells Eyewitness News she will be utilizing the program all summer long.
“Absolutely, they participate and they love it. I get excellent reviews, the food is actually tasty, it’s great. We had ham salad wraps the other day,” said Andrea Page.
Daliesha Walker is a mother of two, and she also shares her gratitude.
“It’s very amazing. I think it’s something really great that Williamsport did and I hope we can continue doing it for them in the next coming years also,” said Walker.
The program will run through August 20th. Organizers tell me any leftover food will be given to local charities.