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Published: Monday, 5/26/2014

Kids’ free summer lunch program axed in Ohio city

Middleton's free summer lunch program shelved after 3 decades in budget move


MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A program that has provided free meals to needy children during summers for three decades has been shelved in southwest Ohio.

Family Service of Middletown cited operating costs and budget and staffing constraints for the move.

The agency got state reimbursement for the $140,000 program, but operating expenses were higher and the staff had to keep up with very strict meal rules.

On Fridays during the summer, children got bags of “kid-friendly” meals with milk to take home to make sure they didn’t go hungry on weekends.

Barbara Klie, program manager, said while the cut wasn’t a surprise, it was “very disappointing.” She said many children “absolutely” depended on the meals.

However, the Salvation Army has said it is expanding its summer lunch program to help offset the cuts in Middletown. “That’s a good thing,” she said.

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