While summer is a time to celebrate for most kids, for students who depend on school as a place to get a nutritious meal, it can also be a time of hunger. To combat this gap, three programs in Rockdale are marshaling their forces. Bread of Life Development Ministries, Rockdale County Public Schools and Rockdale Emergency Relief, working with Conyers First United Methodist Church and Action Ministries, are offering free lunches for low-income students in a grassroots campaign named "Be Bright, Eat Right Rockdale."
These meals will be distributed by three different organizations operating in different areas: RCPS in the CJ Hicks and Peeks Chapel elementary school zones, RER in the Pine Street Elementary zone, and BOLD ministries serving in and around the Lakeview Estates neighborhood.
In all, Be Bright Eat Right Rockdale will be serving meals in the Golfview, Fieldstone, Salem Woods, Calloway Crossing, Calloway Loop, Rock Hill, Peaks Landing, Century Lakeside, Brandon Glen, Forest Villas, Woodbridge Subdivision, Lakeview Drive, Green Valley, Lakeview Estates, and Nancy Guinn Memorial Library neighborhoods.
These neighborhoods have been selected for being economically disadvantaged and having a dense population of students. These groups will be serving lunches consisting of a sandwich, a salty snack, a fruit snack, and a drink.
RCPS, serving neighborhoods in and around the CJ Hicks and Peek's Chapel elementary school attendance zones, will be serving lunches off of school buses.
School buses distributing lunches will have the Be Bright Eat Right Rockdale logo, a shining sun with the name of the program over it. Food distribution volunteers will be wearing blue t-shirts, also bearing the program logo. Food distribution sites include 2111 Country Walk Way, 2132 Fairway Court, 1676 Salem Woods Drive, 1391 Rock Hill Drive, 1505 Calloway Crossing, 1501 Calloway Crossing, 864 Green Street, 1325 Woodbridge Drive, 1500 Brandon Glen Way, 1200 Peek's Landing, CJ Hicks Elementary School and Peek's Chapel Elementary School.
RER, serving neighborhoods in the Pine Street Elementary attendance zone, will be distributing lunches from First United Methodist Church of Conyers, located at 921 North Main St NW, Conyers, GA 30012, from the Scout Hut located on that property.
Andy Peabody, Executive Director of RER, said they are using a model developed by Action Ministries, which Peabody said is a very "Volunteer-driven, in-kind donations-driven, hands-on opportunity for people to create sack lunches that are then given to children in the community. In many ways, it is literally our hands reaching out to another person's hands and neighbors helping neighbors."
BOLD Ministries is serving students in the Lakeview Estates neighborhood, operating under the Bright from the Start Summer Food Service Program, a program administered by the Georgia Department of Early Childhood of Early Care and Learning and funded by the USDA. Food distribution sites include Lakeview Community Church at 2500 Lake Rockaway Drive, Lakeview at Skyline Park on Skyline Drive, and Lakeview Community Center at 1 Frontier Rd.
Rockdale Emergency Relief is seeking volunteers to help provide, pack and distribute the meals. Groups that sign up are asked, if possible, to provide enough for one day's worth of meals, or 250 meals. About 20 groups have signed up to take a day each so far, said Peabody, but about 44 more days are still unaccounted for.
For more information, contact Rockdale Emergency Relief through their website at www.rockdalecountyemergencyrelief.org.