Ben Franklin Science Academy student Keyana Page looks forward to having lunch at the Martin Luther King Center during summer days.
“We have lunch, then we get to play games, and the food is pretty good,” Keyana said.
The 9-year-old will be able to have these free lunches until classes start at her school. Muskogee Public Schools starts its school year Aug. 22.
The Martin Luther King Center, 627 N. Third St., is one of two places offering free summer lunches through Aug. 17.
Christ for the World Ministries will feed youth through Aug. 18 at 120 N. 24th St.
Muskogee schools’ summer feeding program ends Thursday to give child nutrition services time to prepare for the new school year.
Martin Luther King Center Site Director Derrick Reed said the center wants to give neighborhood kids a nutritious meal.
“I know there are a number of students on free and reduced lunches at Sadler,” Reed said, referring to Sadler Arts Academy, located a couple of blocks from the MLK Center. “We wanted to give them at least one meal a day that they were used to getting at school.”
Reed said the program is open and free for all kids, 18 and younger, not just those living near Sadler.
“We feed from 80 to 100 kids daily,” Reed said.
“We’d have a lot more coming if the kids had transportation,” said Mary Brice, a site supervisor.
Brice said children could have trouble walking to the center with temperatures topping 100 degrees.
Keyana’s grandfather, Delbert Jackson, said the MLK Center is a great place to take his four grandchildren on summer days. Sometimes, though, the kids ask to go to McDonald’s when he picks them up.
“They’re usually full when I get them,” Jackson said.
Tamala Walker said she appreciates having a place to take her five children and two neighbor children.
“The food is nutritious,” she said.
The center’s menu includes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, burritos or turkey wraps, Reed said. Lunches also include fruit, celery, carrot sticks, milk, chips and cookies.
The program is sponsored by the Oklahoma Southeast Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ Urban Initiatives and the Muskogee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.
Christ For the World Hope Outreach, a ministry with a branch in Muskogee, offers lunches daily except Tuesday and Saturday, a brochure said.
Lunches are served at noon Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. A 6 p.m. supper and a 7:30 p.m. snack are served Tuesdays, and a breakfast is served at 10:30 a.m. Sundays.
Officials with the ministry could not be reached.
Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding
If you go
WHAT: Summer Feeding Program.
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through Aug. 17.
WHERE: Martin Luther King Center, 627 N. Third St.
ETC.: Free to kids 18 or younger.
INFORMATION: (918) 684-6314.
• • •
WHAT: Summer Feeding Program
WHEN: Noon, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays through Aug. 17.
WHERE: Christ for the World Hope Outreach, 120 N. 24th St.
ETC.: Free for ages 5 to 18.
INFORMATION: Aliyah, (918) 684-9963.