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For some McDowell students, knowing where their next meal will come from during the summer time is a real concern.

But, starting Monday, June 10, children up to 18 years old can get a free lunch at one of the many community and school sites across the county. There is no application process and no identification is required. Many children receiving free and reduce-pride meals through the school year are at great ricks of hunger during the summer. Lack of nutrition during the summer makes students more likely to fall behind during the school year and experience health issues.

The Summer Meals Program in McDowell County is a federally-funded program, and partners with No Kid Hungry NC and NC Summer Nutrition Programs. According to, 85% of the almost 900,000 children in NC from economically-challenged families are not accessing the federally-funded summer nutrition programs designed to fill the need when school is out.

The process to locate free summer meals for kids is only accessible in June, July and August when school is out. Food served at summer meal sites follows USDA nutrition guidelines and are paid for by the USDA. Summer meal sites are safe places for kids and teens to go, such as schools, churches and community centers. Many sites offer educational and recreational activities that kids of all ages can participate in so they can eat, hang out with friends and take part in activities offered. Parents don’t need to apply to the program to get a free summer meal for their kids.

In summer of 2018, 36 sites in McDowell County served a total of 23,248 meals to over 600 children on a daily basis. There are many ways to find a site in McDowell County to feed your child. Folks can text FoodNC to 877-877; call 1-866-3Hungry and visit The McDowell News will print the weekly menu during the summer in Sunday’s paper and the information will be available at

Site and times for Summer Meals

Eastfield Global Magnet School: June 10-13; 11:15-11:45 a.m.

East Middle School: June 10-Aug.8 (closed on Fridays and July 4); 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Glenwood Elementary: June 10-13 and July 8-24; 11:30 a.m. to Noon

Marion Elementary: June 10-13 and July 8-24;11-11:30 a.m.

Nebo Elementary: June 10-13 and July 8-24; 11-11:30 a.m.

Old Fort Elementary: June 10-13 and July 8-24; 11-11:30 a.m.

P.G. Elementary: June 10-13 and July 8-24; 11:30 a.m. to Noon

West Marion Elementary: June 10-13 and July 8-24; 11:30 to Noon

West Middle School: June 10-11; 11:30 a.m. to Noon

McDowell Recreation: Tuesday and Thursdays only, June 10-Aug. 8 (Closed July 4)

McDowell High School: June 10-13,17-20, 24-27; July 8-11, 22-25, 29-31; Noon to 12:30 p.m.

Addie’s Chapel: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only; 11 a.m. to Noon (Closed week of July)

MHS Band: August 5-9, 12-15; Noon to 12:30 p.m.

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