SUNBURY — On most summer days, the Keller Street playground in Sunbury is packed with kids.
“My friends come here every day and I like to come here to have fun with my friends,” said Allison Taylor of Sunbury.
When lunchtime rolls around, the children do not have to worry about whether or not they have enough to eat; lunch is provided for free by the greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA near Milton.
“A lot of these kids count on these lunches to eat. A lot of them can’t afford lunches so they come here and they get to play with their friends,” said playground supervisor Lexi Smith.
The YMCA provides free lunches to 18 different playgrounds in Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties, every weekday during the summer. Joleen Schweinavraten brings her two sisters to the Keller Street playground almost every day.
“It’s cool because if your parents don’t have a lot of money to buy you something and you can bring your sisters here so they can play and get lunch and stuff,” said Joleen Schweinavraten.
The playground staff says every day the lunch is different, but it is always healthy. Tuesday, the kids enjoyed a bologna and cheese sandwich, some carrots and some milk.
“It’s normally a fruit and a vegetable and a sandwich and there’s milk served everyday as well,” said Smith.
Allison Taylor, 8, said the free lunch program is a way for her to eat healthier.
“I always choose the foods that are unhealthy because they’re my favorite, so here I have no choice, so I’m eating the healthy foods,” said Taylor.
The free lunch program run by the greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA is every Monday through Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Lunch is served at 18 different playgrounds in Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. It goes until the end of summer and any child under the age of 18 is welcome.