Free kids summer lunch program axed in Ohio city

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — A program that has provided free meals to needy children during summers for three decades has been shelved in a southwestern Ohio city.

Family Service of Middletown cites operating costs and budget and staffing constraints. Its board president tells the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News (http://bit.ly/1mRYc7U ) that the agency will focus on year-round efforts to feed families.

He calls ending the summer lunch program "a very tough decision."

The agency last summer offered nine sites around the city and gave out 30,000 lunches along with tens of thousands of weekend meal packages.

The agency says it got state reimbursement for the $140,000 program, but operating expenses are higher and the staff has to keep up with strict meal rules.

The Salvation Army plans to expand its summer lunches to help offset the cuts.

___

Information from: The JournalNews of Hamilton, http://www.journal-news.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=jnfront?jnfront

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.