VAN WERT — The YWCA of Van Wert County announces its 19th year of sponsorship of the free Summer Food Service Program for youth.

During the school year, many children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs. However, during summer vacation children may not have the same access to nutritious meals. The goal of the Summer Food program is to fill that nutritional gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need.

The program aims to fill the participants’ time with positive activities, including field trips, volunteer opportunities, interactions with a variety of speakers and presentations, and create mentoring relationships to encourage constructive decision making. All activities are well supervised by qualified mentors, supervisors, and lifeguards.

Free, nutritious meals and recreational programs will be made available to children 4-15 years of age. Free meals are available to any child ages 4-18 years old. All four year olds must be potty-trained to participate in the recreation program. The meals will be provided without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Breakfast is served from 8 - 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The program will begin June 16 and run until Aug. 15. Children may be dropped off no earlier than 8 a.m. and picked up no later than 1 p.m. Registration forms are available at the front desk of the YWCA and through the YWCA of Van Wert County’s website – Last year the YWCA served over 20,000 meals through the Summer Food Program. Ohio Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services and the United Way of Van Wert County are the sponsors of this program.

General operating hours are Monday – Thursday from 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday from 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Closed Saturday & Sunday. The YWCA is a United Way and Van Wert County Foundation funded agency.

For more information contact Danni Chiles, program director, at (419) 238-6639.