The Coahoma County School District kids will continue to get free school meal and a kickoff event for the 2021 Summer Feeding Program was recently held in front of the new administration building to get the word out.
Music played while students, faculty and administration danced and some of the recent adjustments to the program in the midst of the COVID pandemic were discussed.
William Moore, a teacher’s assistant from Jonestown Elementary School, emceed the event. Eddye Johnson, the food service director for the CCSD for 32 years, has led the Summer Feeding Program for 21 years.
“We know some of our kids are less fortunate, but we’re thankful for Ms. Eddye for adopting this program for the district and Dr. (Ilean) Richards, the best superintendent in the world,” said Moore in his opening remarks.
Johnson said the program will run through September 202.
“It is an honor, a pleasure and a privilege today to present to you our theme: ‘Your love keep lifting me higher and higher,’” Johnson said. “For those of you that are too young to remember, it is a throwback from a song by the late singer and performer, the late Jackie Wilson, and a remake of Bruce Springsteen. And during this 2020 academic school year, USDA has allowed school districts across the nation from March of last year to September this year to continue to operate the Summer Feeding Program initiative.”
Johnson said students receive fresh fruit through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
Johnson asked everyone to think of the expression “show me some love” adding the Summer Feeding Program has shown lots of love. She also said children have shown love to Summer Feeding Program
The song "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher" played after Johnson’s words. Coahoma County High School basketball coach Derrick Moore held a guitar with students dancing behind him.
William Moore took the opportunity to encourage Coach Moore, as the Red Panthers are back-to-back MHSAA Class 2A state champions.
“Next year, we will go a three-peat,” William Moore said.
Johnson said children would be fed during summer school, at different sites and at home. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the same time.
She said the state reimburses the district for expenses.
In the past, Johnson said the Summer Feeding Program costs $120,000 to $130,000 per month. The cost went up to around $180,000 per month during the pandemic.
“The extra funds through this program has really helped us to generate the funds that we need to operate,” Johnson said.
Those who were credited with helping the kickoff event or the Summer Feeding Program in the CCSD were special education director Zatara Bolden, testing coordinator Tasha Turner, federal programs supervisor Kenisha Shelton, food services assistant and Mississippi Student Information Services coordinator Kim Hearon, special education assistant supervisor Wendy Boyd, keyboard player band director Tommie Dorris and school resource officer Stephen James.