Mineral Recreation Coordinator, and YCAC Director, Barb Owens, has a busy summer ahead. Owens recently implemented the Summer Food Program by the Lions Park Pool. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who reimburses the county for food costs.
Owens said the food is prepared at the Juvenile Probation Office building. Owens said the meals are full and nutritious and served from 11:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All the food groups are represented. Milk is also provided
Owens started the program a week ago, as soon as school let out. She added that as the pool is under the auspices of Recreation and, “That’s where I feel I can reach the most kids at this time.”
Four books provided by the USDA help provide guidelines for the menu. When the menu stipulates a hot lunch, Owens prepares the meals herself in the kitchen at the JPO building.
“We’re feeding 15 to 20 kids right now, but I’d like to see that number climb to at least 50 or 60 kids,” Owens said.
Also on the list is a poker run to raise funds to help get the JPO building ready for kid’s activities. Owens hopes to get the Boys and Girls club stamp of approval on the facility eventually. “That’s our long-range goal, and we hope to have that in place by the time school goes back in session,” Owens said.
Owens added that this facility will remain under the umbrella of the Yerington Boys and Girls Club for two years, until they prove it can stand on its own two feet.
“We have four big rooms here and a gym. Some of the things we need are a floor in the gym, and we could sponsor more activities, including expanding the Serpent Classic,” Owens said. Plans include having a room with a game system and a TV for movies, and arts and crafts room, while another room will feature a teenagers lounge.
Also in the works is the fall implementation of the Child and Adult Food Care Program. The facility will host a free meal for kids at 3:15 p.m. after school lets out for the day. “Hopefully a bunch of kids will come to eat and stay to participate in sports or other activities,” Owens said.
Owens also hopes to install a rock climbing wall as well as batting cages and a pitching machine at the facility. “We’re really gearing up to get this place up to speed, and that’s why we’re doing our fund raising, along with we need these fund raising events to get the stamp of approval by the Boys and Girls Clubs,” Owens said.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight,” Owens concluded.