CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Thousands of West Virginia schoolchildren who would be at risk of not having enough to eat this summer will be able to receive meals through a federal program.

The West Virginia Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition started its program Thursday at Elk Center Elementary in Charleston. The program aims to make sure children in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals through the summer break.

An average 178,000 West Virginia schoolchildren have access to free and reduced-price meals at school during the school year.

Associate state school superintendent Clayton Burch says 136 agencies are participating with more than 480 feeding locations. Burch says that means more than 11,000 meals provided per day during the summer.

The program is U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Program.

For more information: National Hunger Hotline, at (866) 3HUNGRY; visiting ; or text FOOD to 877-877.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.