Summer Lunch Program Begins in Monroe County

EAST STROUDSBURG -- School is out, but the cafeteria at J.M. Hill Elementary School in East Stroudsburg was plenty busy during the lunch hour.

It's all part of the National School Lunch Program.  It offers breakfast and lunch throughout the summer.

Carrie Panepinto has seven children and has been using the program for the last six years.

"It's fantastic. It makes it easy for the summer to make sure all the kids have lunch and breakfast. They get it through the school year so it's good. It goes through the summer," said Carrie Panepinto, East Stroudsburg.

East Stroudsburg School District is part of the federally funded National School Lunch Program.

Food is served at 14 locations throughout Monroe County. Seven of those are in East Stroudsburg.

"There is no residency requirement, no charge for either meal for individuals that are children ages 0 through 18, so it includes the 18 year olds. If adults who accompany them want a meal also, they can obtain it for a modest charge," said Eric Forsythe, ESSD Communications Coordinator.

There's a new feature to the program this year.

If you're not near your normal lunch location, you can text "FOOD" to 877877. It's part of a national program that lets people know where summer lunches are available.

Hundreds of families rely on the program for nutritious meals.

"I've seen kids just walking around and not eating anything. Just outside all the time because their family can't support it. So it's nice they can come in here," said Isabella Panepinto, East Stroudsburg.

"I think that it is fun here because then my mom doesn't have to run around everywhere and get stuff for breakfast and lunch," said Emily Panepinto, East Stroudsburg.

Dansbury Park summer lunch program starts on Wednesday.

For a list of locations in East Stroudsburg, click here.