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Making sure to eat well

There’s no need for children to go hungry this summer in Lorain County, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

In a conference call Wednesday, Brown supplied a list of 20 places in Elyria, Lorain, Elyria Township and Vermilion where youngsters can get a free lunch.

“Too many families in Ohio don’t know about this critical program,” said Brown, D-Avon.

During the school year, more than 840,000 needy children in Ohio receive free or reduced-price lunches, Brown said.

But last summer, Ohio ranked 37th nationally in the percentage of youths served in summer nutrition programs, according to Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks.

“As Sen. Brown said, ‘Hunger does not take a vacation,’ ” Hamler-Fugitt said. “Help us get the word out about this critical program.”

The free lunches are welcomed by parents such as Elyria resident Morgan Geiger, whose children ate ravioli, corn, a roll, pineapple, milk and a wafer cookie Wednesday at Wilkes Villa.

“I don’t have to cook. They serve good lunches,” Geiger said.

On Wednesday, youngsters got a baloney sandwich, fruit cup, milk and pretzels, she said.

Monica Snipes, area director/food program director, said staff “can kind of tell” that food is scarce at home because youngsters sometimes ask if they can bring home some of the food.

The program in Lorain might be even more extensive if Lorain Schools or if municipal parks were involved, Snipes said.

In Lorain County, the Boys and Girls Club provides the free lunches at seven locations, the Elyria Schools at 12 locations and the Lorain Salvation Army-Vermilion Service Unit at one location.

Contact Bruce Bishop at 329-7242 or bbishop@chroniclet.com.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.

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