July 29, 2016
By Kevin Mercer
Shouts of joy, shrieks of delight and eruptions of laughter filled the air.
“That thing was fun!” “Can I go just one more time?”
Exclamations like these emanated from a bouncy house in western Chapel Hill, while a pickup soccer game was underway in the adjacent field. The Bouncing Bulldogs were inside. There were even UNC athletes.
But most of all, there was food. A lot of it.
It was July 7, and we were at Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill, the location of a carnival celebrating the first month of Food for the Summer, a new initiative in Chapel Hill and Carrboro that provides free lunches to students within Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) during the summertime.
Representatives from a number local nonprofits, roughly 30 volunteers and 83 campers with the Hargraves Community Center Summer Program descended on the center that Thursday afternoon to hear Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger announce that in the 14 weekdays since the program had launched on June 14 until the end of that month, Food for the Summer had served 10,237 meals to students 18 years of age or younger who needed them.