BRISTOL, Va. - A children's summer feeding program has been scrapped for this year.
Earlier this week we told of a snag in the application process, and now that snag has caused the non-profit that provided hot lunches and meals this summer to give it up.
There had been a snag in a summer feeding program provided by the Community Hospitality Outreach Program earlier this week; some agencies were getting their meals, and others were not.
The situation has reached a point where now the Department of Agriculture Program will not be providing meals in Southwest Virginia at all. "I had to notify them on Thursday that I was unable to do the program in Virginia. Tennessee is approved, last week was the advance payment and everything is fine in Tennessee," Richard Erskine with the Community Hospitality Outreach Program said.
It's that advanced payment for services in Virginia that has caused the problem. "In Virginia alone for the month of June is about $80,000 in groceries. Since the application wasn't approved June 1, it was approved June 3, they said I missed the deadline," Erskine says.
That has left agencies asking parents to pack lunches for the kids if they're able, and now with the news of the cancellation it leaves some looking for answers. "We didn't do a budget for the meals because last year we were part of the program, and have been part of the program during the school semester. Now that we don't have their program it makes it hard for us to feed our kids," says Kelly Ball with Covenant Fellowship Church of God.
Danielle Lamson with Highlands Community Services gave this statement about their concerns. "It is a large financial hit. If you do the math, based upon 190 children at $2.50 per day, and our program running 24 days, you can quickly see just how expensive this is going to be for us and other community agencies that were recently contacted with the news."
All of those involved are searching to come up with solutions.