Hosting summer food program

The summer food programs in Mexico will all be served at the Mexico Area YMCA's new "Y Cafe." Meals once offered at the Garfield Community Center, Centennial Baptist Church are no longer being offered.
YMCA officials said the decision to consolidate the programs was made because the new facility provides room for the entire program.
The Mexico Area YMCA is located at 1127 Adams, and the summer food program is free for children 18 years and younger. The program runs July 1-Aug. 14 and offers participants both breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. and lunch is offered at noon. No meals will be served on July 4.
YMCA Membership Director Lori Brandow said there will be incentives for the program participants. Those activities will be announced later.
This is the eighth year the Mexico YMCA has hosted a summer food program. The second year of the agency's participation led to the opening of the other sites. With the Y's recent expansion, Brandow said, the building is sizable enough to handle the entire program and any overflow that might occur. The daily attendance in years past at the YMCA was around 50. Officials hope for more attendance this year.
The United States Department of Agriculture and a community grant fund the summer food program in an effort to keep children fed and nourished while school is out of session.
The program provides a free lunch, Monday through Friday, except for the Fourth of July holiday. Meals will be prepared at the YMCA and include sandwiches, fresh fruits and vegetables, a protein, grains and a drink.
Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. A lack of nutrition during the summer may also start a cycle for poor performance when school begins again, according to USDA data.
For more information about the YMCA summer food program, call (573) 581-1540.