Rincon City Council members want to get more information before making a decision on a summer food program for needy kids.
Council members voted to table action on the Feed-a-Kid program until they can hear from Effingham County clerk Patrice Crawley and Nikki Scott, the local coordinators. The program also operates in Guyton and Clyo.
“Rincon does not have anything like this,” Rincon Recreation Department director David Wooten said. “(City planner) LaMeisha Hunter and I thought it was a worthwhile project. It’s something we need.”
Crawley and Scott were approached by Rincon residents about the program, Hunter said. Should the city agree to go forward with the Feed-a-Kid program, it can only provide it in one location for the first year. It can add another location in succeeding years.
“When it came up, I asked, ‘Why can’t we provide something like this?’” asked council member Levi Scott. “From my experience, it works.”
But council member Reese Browher, when Hunter and Wooten said the city would be reimbursed a percentage of its cost for the lunches, balked. He also took issue with Crawley and Scott not being at Monday’s council meeting to discuss the issue.
“I’m not for it,” he said. “Anytime you start giving away something, it’s hard to take that back. Once you do one thing and somebody expects it, it’s near impossible to take that back.
“If there’s enough concern out there, private individuals should get together and fund it. Why is it up to government to fund it?”
Council member Paul Wendelken also issued his concern that the city is “getting double-dipped again” since residents pay county taxes and the city would be expected to pay for the program.
After its reimbursement, the city’s expected expenditure is around $4,300.
The state’s “Bright From the Start” oversees the program, and there have to be a certain number of children from low-income families in the area to be served, Hunter said.
Under the program, the city would pick up the cost of supervising and monitoring the two adults needed to run it. Their training would be no charge to the city. The lunches provided are made by county prison inmates.
Hunter, a Guyton native, said that city’s park on Highway 17 where the Feed-a-Kid program is administered is always full. She also said the van that picks up the children for the program has to make several circuits in order to get all the kids.
In addition to the free lunches, there are also activities for the kids.
Should the city adopt the program, it would be held from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the summer at the 7th Street Park. No transportation for the children will be provided to the park, should the program be adopted. The number of eligible children in the 7th Street Park area is around 40, Hunter said.
“It’s a great location,” Wooten said. “We have some built-in activities there.”
Rincon council members also want to find out what the costs and attendance numbers are for the program in Guyton and Clyo.