June 2017: Affordable Summer Fun for Your Kids

SUMMER IS HERE!!!! The kids are out of school and in search of something to do. It can be a little time consuming and pricey if you have to accommodate kids of different age groups and interests. I only have one child and luckily for me he’s fine with going with the flow so I don’t have to make to many preparations. Now I work mainly on third shift so I am free during the day but for other parents who have to work, there are some options for you. Earlewood Park off North Main Street is where you can go to pay $55 a week and sign your child up for a local community center near you. This is also a plus because you can find out about different activities going on around the city as well as sport teams that your child can join. They can also inform you about which locations are providing free summer lunches to children.

Now my niece will be going to middle school and we heard on the radio (gotta love local advertisement) about a STEM camp for GIRLS ONLY on the campus of Claflin University. This is a wonderful opportunity for young ladies to get out there, meet new people and expose themselves to new technology and what it could feel like when they do go to college. It is never too early to expose our girls to the future and what they can become.

It’s amazing how one spark and ignite a huge flame.

Now, I myself enjoy things that don’t cost much money. I will be taking the kids to Lake Monticello as much as I can this summer. I love going there with the kids because it is free and they have it set up perfectly. Due to experience I realize the best time to go is during the week, that’s when there are fewer people there, but if  you do decide to go on the weekend, go as early in the morning as possible to ensure you get a good spot to set up (if you’re able to get one at all). It can be a little bit of a drive, but it is so worth it. I like cooking on the grill while the kids play and my son loves fishing. I do all my prep a day or two before hand and the rest is history. The only down side is the ride home. You may have a car full of children, but everyone will be asleep due to exhaustion and you will be on your own – then again, that could be a plus.

One last great thing we can do with our children that’s free, will come with a meal and is educational. Edventure Children’s Museum is offering free lunch for parents and children birth to 18 along with free museum admission. Now this is a win-win all the way around. So many different local organizations are offering free lunches for the youth but this one also feeds the parents as well. After you enjoy lunch, you can walk it off exploring Eddie and all of the other attractions. Anything educational is a huge plus in my book. Again, it’s something about igniting that spark. Playing a simple game can turn into a lifelong career that you child enjoys in their adult life.

No matter what you decide. Enjoy your children and be safe. My son doesn’t know it yet but I will be throwing some school work in there a few times a week. “If you’re not ahead, you’re behind” I always tell him. Fun is nice, but I am very big on education. Anywhere I can combine the two makes learning easier for both of us.

– Sarah Ravenell


As the school year ends, one of the things we parents have to think about is…what can my children do for the summer while I work?

Many parents tend to dread summer camp because it usually entails expenses and since the kids are always hungry, we have to budget in more good to feed those hungry bellies. Not all camps will provide food.

Well, fear not! I’m here to offer some suggestions about affordable summer camp that will feed multiple meals included in the price.

My first choice is the RAM Foundation. The RAM Foundation was founded by my former high school English teacher, Dr. Mary Stover. This free summer program provides a free educational program, and it includes breakfast, lunch, and a snack based on Richland District’s nutritional meals. Currently, the program provides its services for a half a day but you really can’t beat free. You have to fill out an application with a one-time $25 administrative fee because seats are limited.

My second recommendation is the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands. This non-profit organization provides several different types of summer camps throughout the Midlands and it’s based on your income. My daughter will be attending the Summer Art Camp. The program provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks as well! Their hours of operation are 7:30am until 6:30pm Monday through Friday and it starts from June 5th until August 18th! You can sign up your child/children by the week if you don’t want them to go every week of summer.

– Jameelah Rasheed


Camp Ages Times/Dates Price Meals Provided
City of Columbia Camps: Registration at Earlewood Community Center Varies Registration: 8:30 am- 5 pm at 1111 Parkside Drive, Columbia, SC

Camps: Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.

$55

Exception: Arts and Outdoor Adventure

Teen Camp provides lunch
Lake Monticello All Ages Daylight Hours Free Admission and Parking Bring your own
EdVenture All Ages Monday-Saturday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Members: Free

Children under 2: Free

Children & Adults: $11.50

Seniors, Military (with ID), Educator (with ID): $10.50

Families who receive SNAP, WIC or Medicaid benefits: $1 per person

Lunch for parents and children
RAM: Reading Arts Mathematics Camp 4-17 Monday-Friday

8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

$25 registration fee Breakfast and Lunch
Boys and Girls Club 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Snack

Summer Food Service Program Spotlight: Full Benefits Harvest International

Checkers, Uno, and watching the popular Disney film Moana have been some of the kid’s favorite activities that participates in Full Benefits Harvest International Summer Food Service Program. Full Benefits Harvest International is a first-year Summer Food Service Program site providing food, fun, and activities to youth in the Lower Richland community.
Rev. Gibson has plenty of experience working with youth as he works with youth every day August through May as a teacher with Richland School District One. His passion for youth is evident as he can be seen playing a round of Uno, serving meals to youth, or vacuuming food crumbs all on the same day!
The kids are enjoying themselves this summer just as much as Rev. Gibson. One young man said he wish he could even come to Full Benefits Harvest International for dinner too! If you are looking for a fun, inviting, safe place for your kids to have fun and eat a nutritious meal this summer make sure to bring them by Full Benefits Harvest International. They are open Monday through Friday from 11am-1pm providing food and fun to kids ages 18 and under free of charge. Bring your child, grandchild, niece or nephew over to Full Benefits Harvest International Summer Food Service Program any week day until August 4th.
To learn more about the Summer Food Service Program at Full Benefits Harvest International visit: https://www.facebook.com/FullBenefitsHarvest

February/March 2017: Celebrating National CACFP Week

Click to learn more about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

March 12-18 marks National Child and Adult Care Food Program Week (CACFP). This national effort brings attention to food insecurity and focuses on the work that the USDA does to provide healthy food for children ages 0-18 through child care homes and centers, afterschool programs, emergency programs, and adult care programs across the country. CACFP provides over $28 million to South Carolina each year and works with over 1,300 of our adult and child care programs.

At End Child Hunger South Carolina, we would like to take a moment to highlight and thank the afterschool programs in our community that help feed children and help local families succeed. Two of our Family Champion Leaders have shared the everyday impact of the afterschool programs that helped their families, and thus our community, succeed.

Sarah

The end of the school day comes around so fast. I love the afterschool program my son attends and their services is so appreciated. I know my son looks forward to going everyday. I work and attend school. They provide dinner, which saves me so much additional time when we do get home.  My son really enjoys when they serve BBQ chicken, and I love the fact that they serve complete, balanced meals with something from every food group. I encourage my child to eat some of everything. I want his diet to be well balanced because it is so easy to eat all the wrong things. They serve meals that I would make at home and then give the students a snack before they leave for the day which is very comforting.

Another plus is the great staff. It really feels like a community. There are activities for the boys, the girls, and the parents. They have coaches helping with sports, and I have seen other staff sitting in small groups helping with homework. It is an all-around positive place for the kids to be. My son and I both love the fact that when every sports season starts, we are one of the first people to sign up. I have come a long way myself, and I want my son to stay active, and at Hyatt Park Afterschool Program he is very active.

Meela

When it comes to deciding on an afterschool program for your child, there’s a lot of factors to consider such as:

– How much is it?
– Where is it and how is my child getting there?
– Is there a curriculum?
– What times are they open? Are they open for early release days?

Being a single parent, I thought about these very factors (among many others). There were a lot of options offered at my daughter’s elementary school, but the program that stood out to me was the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands.

They are conveniently located at several schools, including my daughter’s school. The rate is based on income, so it is quite affable and they close at 6:30pm. They also help with homework and have activities for the kids. But what really sealed the deal for me was that they offer a nutritious dinner for the kids every day! Yes, they serve dinner!

For me, that added bonus speaks volumes and gives me one less worry every day. Plus my daughter loves the food! They usually have an entree with two sides and a drink. Some days they keep it simple and the kids have pizza! I can be assured that everyday when I pick my daughter up, she is happy and her tummy is full. You can look for a Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands campus for your kid by going to http://www.begreatacademy.com.

We invite you to learn more about CACFP and their work in South Carolina by visiting these websites.

SC Child Care CACFP
National Child and Adult Care Food Program Community

 

January 2017: Fresh Year, Fresh Approaches, Fresh Food

Greetings and Happy New Year!

As End Child Hunger looks to the year 2017, we are filled with hope and motivation. End Child Hunger SC, as it exists today, began two years ago. Since that time we have held tightly to our mission to build awareness, increase community capacity, and create a coordinated effort to address childhood hunger in the Palmetto State. While we continue to grow and expand our impact, the fact remains that too many children in our state face food insecurity. South Carolina food insecurity holds steady at 1 in 4 children, continuing to be worse than the national average of 1 in 5.
Since our beginning we have known that simply saying we want to make a change isn’t nearly as effective as going out and making a change. Below are some of our plans for this coming year, the changes we will make in 2017 to reach the goal within our name.

  • Establish a new community garden
  • Implement a neighborhood-based cooking matters class in Richland County
  • Recruit new summer food service program and afterschool meal program sites
  • Host the third annual End Child Hunger SC Week
  • Provide outreach to various anti-child hunger programs
  • Capture the stories of families to share with community leaders

This New Year gives us an opportunity to turn South Carolina’s child hunger around, and we are starting right here. The Family Champion Leader Blog will provide monthly updates on our progress, tell stories of our community, and share ways that you can make a difference. Additionally, we will begin providing healthy and affordable recipes. Your help is important though: we need you to help us get the word out, put ideas into practice, and support End Child Hunger SC. It is our hope that you will take what you read here and share it with your community.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Program Tour

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) federally funded program administered by the SC Department of Social Services (SCDSS). The CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program (ARAMP) provides reimbursement to eligible afterschool programs for serving nutritious meals and snacks to participants.

Sardis Baptist Church Afterschool Program assist children in 4K through 5th grade. Children receive daily tutoring to develop a healthy mind, engage in physical activities to encourage a healthy body, and daily devotion to foster a healthy soul. Sardis Baptist Church Afterschool Program provides a full meal daily. It operates Monday through Friday from 2:00 PM to 6 PM. Sardis Baptist Church has participated in the Child and Adult Care Food Program since 2014.

W. A. Perry Middle School is a Richland School District One school. The W.A. Perry Middle School Afterschool Program operates as a 21st Century Learning Center. They provide academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities to children in their care. W.A. Perry is proud of its emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) where children are being prepared for the 21st century. It operates Monday through Friday 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM. Richland One has participated in the Child and Adult Care Food Program since 2012.

Seven Oaks Elementary Media Magnet is located in Lexington-Richland Five School District. Seven Oaks Elementary Afterschool Program is operated by EdVenture Children’s Museum-Club EdVenture. Children engage in activities that encourage creativity and self-expression, strengthen good problem-solving skills, promote academic achievement, encourage fitness and good nutrition, and instill good citizenship and respect for others. It operates Monday through Friday 2:30 PM to 6 PM. Lexington-Richland School District Five has participated in the Child and Adult Care Food Program since 2013.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Lowcountry is located in Hilton Head Island, SC. It operates three (3) clubs on the Child and Adult Care Food Program serving children ages 6 to 18 years old. The afterschool program works to create seeds of academic success, athletic performance, artistic expressions, civic involvement and character development. It operates Monday-through Friday 3 PM to 7 PM. The Boys and Girls Club of the Lowcountry has participated in the Child and Adult Care Food Program since 2013

Gov. Haley’s Summer Food Service Program Proclamation

Gov. Nikki Haley has declared this week: June 6th- June 10th as Summer Food Service Program Week. Department of Education’s Office of Health and Nutrition worked very hard to achieve this wonderful proclamation. It is wonderful to see that our state wants to get the message out to families and youth about the summer food service program.

View the Proclamation Here: Summer Food Service Program Week 2016

 

Volunteer with Camp Elevate

Do you have an hour and a half you can provide to make a positive impact on youth?
First Church of the Nazarene needs your help to assist with their summer camp for at-risk youth. They are in need of a few volunteers to help provide activities to youth. Volunteers are needed on Tuesday, June 28th and Thursday, June 30th from 11am-12:30pm.
If you are interested in assisting please e-mail Ashley Miller, Camp Elevate Director at amiller@columbianaz.com