Lamar County Homelessness Coaltion

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Without the benefit of a daily school lunch, families can struggle to keep their children fed during the summer. The Lamar County Homelessness Coalition, along with Paris ISD, is working to minimize that problem.

At the coalition’s quarterly meeting Tuesday, Youth Committee head Denise Kornegay discussed plans to team up with Paris ISD to provide summer feeding for the area’s youth. Kornegay said that though the program is being headed by Paris ISD, it’s not just for Paris ISD students. She isn’t sure what meals will consist of, but she said they will be free.

“Any child of any age can take part in the program,” she said after the meeting. “I think that’s such an important thing to provide for our children who might not know where their next meal is coming from when they don’t have school to help provide that.”

The summer feeding program began last week, and runs through early August. No meals will be served July 4 or 5 at any of the locations.

Until Aug. 8, free lunches will be served at Aikin Elementary School from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Justiss Elementary from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., At Travis High School of Choice from 11 a.m. to noon and at T.G. Givens Elementary from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Until July 31, lunch will be provided at 1818 Jackson Court from 11 to 11:30 a.m.; at Sherman Court, 1305 Neathery St., from 11:45 to 12:15; and at George Wright Homes from 12:30-1 p.m.

Paris High School’s cafeteria will serve breakfast and lunch until July 31, and will serve lunch only on Aug. 1 and 2 and 5 and 8. In addition to not serving meals on the Fourth of July and the day after, Paris High School will not serve breakfast July 22 through 26 and 29 through 31.

From June 17 to July 26, CitySquare of Paris, 2515 Bonham St., will serve food from noon to 12:30.

Through June 26, Crockett Intermediate School will serve breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to noon.

And through July 3, Blossom Elementary School will serve lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and Deport Elementary School will serve food from 11:50 a.m. through 12:20 p.m.

Another project headed by Paris ISD is its mobile library.

“Students who don’t read during the summer because they don’t have books fall behind when school starts back up,” Kornegay said. “We have a school bus that was outfitted, so the seats were taken out and some shelves were put in, and they go around the community and any child can pick up books.”

In addition to the free books children can take home, there will be a storytime reading from somebody in character.

Unlike actual libraries, Kornegay said children aren’t required to return books before taking new ones.

“If they’d like to bring a book back after finishing it, that’s great and of course they can, but if they don’t, that’s one more book that kid has,” Kornegay said.

The mobile library will carry books for all ages, from early childhood to young adult novels for teenagers.

The library will run June 18, 20, 25 and 27, and July 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 and 25. It will set up shop at the Boys and Girls Club from 11-11:30 a.m., Givens Elementary from 11:30 to noon and George Wright Homes from 12:30-1 p.m.

The library will be at CitySquare and Oak Park from 12:30-1 p.m. each day except July 25, and will be at Justiss Elementary from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursdays.

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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