Simpkins said the program is dependent on volunteers. They are needed to transport meals from the school cafeterias to distribution sites, distribute meals to children and set up and break down the sites, Hug said. She said volunteers are also needed to spend time with kids and provide a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.
Last summer, there were only four meal distribution sites in the district, Simpkins said.
“The goal is to identify as many at-risk kids in the district that we have and try and find a way to get summer meals to them,” said Liz Cartano, director of dining at Chartwells, the organization contracted with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools to provide meals to students.
Cartano said the costs of the meals are covered by Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, which is then reimbursed by the USDA. The rest of the expenses are covered by donations. Hug and Simpkins said so far, the program has received more than $12,000 total in donations from UNC, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA and an anonymous donor.
Simpkins said those interested in volunteering can enter their email on the program’s website and a mass email will be dispersed with details on how to get involved once the sites have been approved.
“If you really want to make a difference in the community, here is a great way to do this without spending any money,” he said.