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Kids enjoy free lunch program at Shamokin pool

While school may be out for the summer, a program in Shamokin continues to feed hungry students at the city's pool.

SHAMOKIN, Pa. — While school may be out for the summer, a program in Shamokin continues to feed students at the city's pool.

On Monday, the Belmahi family enjoyed lunch at the Lawton Shroyer Memorial Swimming Pool in Shamokin.

Monday through Friday during the summer, children under 18 can stop by the pool for a free lunch. Food is provided by the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Paula Gilger manages the pool and says this program is greatly needed in areas like Shamokin, where students get free meals during the school year.

"They want to try to keep it going because during the summer, they want the kids to make sure that they're fed," Gilger said. "It used to be across town, and we tried to get it here because a lot of times when kids would be coming in, they'd be hungry as soon as they got in the pool, or they would be debating whether they would buy food or come swimming. So at least this way they can come and get something to eat and come swimming at the same time."

The pool gets 100 meals per day. Families seem to like the program.

"This community has many kids that, I can't say they don't have food, but they need some nice food," Lahouari Belmahi said.

Anyone under 18 can stop by the pool between 11 a.m. and noon for a free meal Monday through Friday. The program runs until the start of the next school year.

Click here to find a student summer lunch program near you.

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