SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — 5,500 kids are fed twice a day, thanks to the Summer Food Service Program.

Caddo Parish students are provided breakfast and lunch free of charge throughout the summer. This ensures students are being fed adequate meals, even when school is not in session.

“We need to make sure that we do our due diligence to put a dent in the hunger during the summer just as we do during the school year,” said Kashundra Lynch, Director of Child Nutrition Program for Caddo Parish schools.

The program is offered at 34 schools throughout Caddo Parish.

“Most of our kids, this is the only meal that they get,” said Jacqueline Armington, CMP Manager. “So, you know, by schools being out for the summer, you know we don’t know where half of our babies will eat at.”

“A lot of children don’t have access to food and we want to make sure we provide that access at no cost to the parents,” Lynch said.

Lynch says none of this would be possible without the 140 staff members.

“They want to spend time with their families too, but they do realize the importance of summer food service to all of the community,” Lynch said.

“These kids are my kids when I’m here,” Armington said. “Most of them, they’ll talk to me before they go talk to the principal or their teacher because I’m the first person they see in the morning time. So yeah, these are my babies.”