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'There's definitely a need:' Baldwin County Schools starts supper program for kids after school

According to the non-profit Feeding America, Baldwin County's food insecurity rate for children is 26 percent. The school district is trying to change that.

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ga. — Judy Stoneking leaves work around 3 p.m. every day now, but she says when her kids were in school, she worked long hours.

"At that time, I was working evening shifts somewhere else, so that would've been really great, helped out a lot," says Stoneking.

She's talking about the new supper program at Baldwin County Schools, which will serve dinner to students in the district's after-school programs.

Starting on Monday, students at all of the elementary and middle schools will be offered an extra meal before heading home.

Baldwin County Schools has over 700 students involved in their after-school programs.

Susan Nelson, the school district's director of nutrition, says this program will be offered Monday through Thursday and some teachers have offered to stay late to serve the meals.

"One of them lasts until 6:30 in the evening, and then, a lot of times, kids may get on the bus and ride for another 45 minutes to an hour, so I don't know about you, but I'm hungry by 5:00. There's definitely a need," says Nelson.

Instead of serving sandwiches or pizza like they get for lunch, Nelson says the goal was to give them hearty meals. "We're doing meatloaf and mashed potatoes, we've got spaghetti and tossed salads, we've got Salisbury steak."

Nelson says this program will be opened up to the high-schoolers in the next few months, and the goal is to make sure every student who stays late goes home with a full stomach.

This program is funded through a Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning grant that totals about $30,000 per month.

To see the complete supper program menu for the month of November, Nelson says it can be found on the Baldwin County Schools website under 'nutrition.'

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