Wayne County annual free summer lunch program under way

The Wayne County Department of Public Health has begun its annual Free Summer Lunch Program for children ages 13 to 18 and eligible young adults.

The program distributes free, nutritious lunches to residents at 21 community sites in: Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Riverview, Taylor, Ecorse, River Rouge, Inkster, Livonia, Romulus, Wayne, Westland, Highland Park and Belleville.

The service is available in many Wayne County school districts where students receive free or reduced-price lunches during the regular school year.

Meals are served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 16. Locations include:
Academy for Business and Technology, 5277 Calhoun (Monday through Thursday).
Ford Woods Park, Greenfield and Donald.
Lapeer Park, Lapeer and Salina.
Morningside Park, Wyoming & Morningside.

Dearborn Heights
Global Elementary School, 23713 Joy Road.

Riverview United Methodist Church, 13199 Colvin.

The Ponds of Taylor, 15111 Pond Village.

Dartmouth Square Apartments, 26382 Colgate.
Inkster Department of Human Services, 26355 Michigan Ave.
Hamlin Place Estates, 2680 Hamlin.

Birch Run Co-Op, 35477 Garner.

Beechwood Center, 421 Beechwood.
International Gospel Center, 375 Saillotte.
Youth & Community Outreach Center, 27 Saillotte

River Rouge
Memorial Park, 11051 W. Jefferson.
St. John A.M.E. Church, 505 Beachwood.

Newburgh United Methodist Church, 36500 Ann Arbor Road.

“This program helps Wayne County families stretch their hard-earned food dollars during economically challenging times by providing thousands of meals each year,” Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said. “Most importantly, children are able to receive wholesome, healthy and enjoyable lunches during the summer — nutritional meals they might not otherwise get.”

In recent years, the program has served as many as 71,000 lunches annually.

Menus are selected to represent essential food groups and taste-tested by registered dieticians and nutritionists. Food items feature popular favorites, as well as new meal selections, ranging from satisfying entrees to snacks.

In addition, the program provides free lunches for residents through age 26 who are considered mentally or physically-challenged by a state or local educational agency or who participate in public or private non-profit school programs for the handicapped.

“We are extremely pleased to support and facilitate this important food service program for Wayne County’s children and young adults by providing nutritious meals, helping meet families’ dietary needs and encouraging healthy eating habits,” said Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, chief of Health Operations/Health Officer, Wayne County Health and Human Services.

The program is funded by, and operated in accordance with, federal laws under the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Wayne County Department of Public Health.

For more information about the program, residents can call the Wayne County Department of Public Health at 734-727-7107.

Information on the Free Summer Lunch programs and other services from the Wayne County Department of Health and Human Services can be found by going to www.waynecounty.com and clicking on the Health and Human Services tab.