Youth in Stephens County will have several options when it comes to free meals this summer.

The free meals come from not only the Chickasaw Nation, but also two local school districts.

The Chickasaw Nation will continue their meals for kids program at Duncan Public Library with pre-packaged meals throughout the Summer. Children and teens aged one through 18 can receive a free lunch from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Monday through Friday in the back building of Duncan Public Library.

The Chickasaw Nation Summer Food program provides the meals through Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services.

On the school side Duncan Public Schools will continue their summer food program, though it will look different compared to the one the district hosted previously when school let out in March because of COVID-19.

Duncan’s district will provide lunch daily for all children 18 and under when the program starts June 1. It’ll continue through Aug. 7 and the serving location will take up residence at Woodrow Wilson Cafeteria.

The cafeteria will serve lunch from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Any Duncan Public Schools can receive a meal five days a week.

David Ellis, Duncan Public Schools communications coordinator, said the students can pick up the meals. 

The summer EBT program also released information on the application process to receive free food this summer through a federally funded program.

Families, if accepted into the program, will receive an EBT card allowing them to purchase healthy meals throughout the summer, though a child must meet certain requirements.

Those requirements include enrollment in a participating public school district in grades Pre-K through 12th grade for the 2019-2020 school year and also qualifying for free or reduced meals at school.

If accepted into the program, it will not impact any government assistance the family or child currently receive. Information provided on the form will remain confidential.

Once approved, families will receive the EBT cards via mailed to the address provided. They will also get a list of participating stories and a food card shopping list on approved items.

One other district has plans for providing meals. Empire Public Schools will have their first summer food program ever and will provide pickup meals one day per week for curbside pickup.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, the district will have meals available for the week. Then, the district will move to Mondays the next week, which will remain throughout the entire summer.

Empire Superintendent Justin Smith said people can pick up the meals from 9-9:30 a.m. each Monday except for the first week. The district will give out five meals at a time.

Smith said the pickup will only take place at the cafeteria and the district will not deliver the food to Cameron University like they did for the food program they offered previously this year.

For questions about the Empire district food program, call 580-252-5392. For more information on the Chickasaw Nation Summer Food program, call  580-436-7255.

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