Summer Sandwich Program Fills School Food Assistance Void

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As more than one thousand children in Athens County receive food assistance during the school year, an Athens County agency has a plan to ensure kids are well-fed during the summer, too.

The peanut butter and jelly project, coordinated by the Athens County Children's Services, aims to give sandwiches to all area youth in need each summer.

The project also provides assistance to local food pantries.

"Just offsetting the cost that most pantries are having to supply to those families is our hope," said Laci Carsey, an Athens County social worker. "I think without the program, most kids would go hungry if they cant get to a pantry because they're too far out or they don't know where to go."

Children's services plans to donate about 70 to 100 jars of peanut butter for each school in the county along with jelly, bread and some produce.

The agency says it hopes to eventually set up donation boxes all over Athens County, but encourages people to bring donations directly to the agency right now.

The program is funded completely by donations, and the food can even be delivered right to recipient's door.

"This year some families have been struggling with transportation and they've asked me if I can bring stuff out to them since they might not have gas cards to get to where we are. It amazes me how thankful they really are," Carsey said.

The project begins June 1 and lasts throughout the summer.

Three of the five school districts in the county are already signed up for the program.

The agency says it hopes to eventually add Alexander Local Schools and the Nelsonville-York City School District to the list of participants.