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Building Community Bridges will offer free lunches for children again this summer.

The Jefferson City nonprofit — whose mission is to uplift and aid youths in the community in respect to self-awareness, education, entrepreneurship and issues that affect their lives — applied for and received a grant from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to provide summer meals, said Executive Director Alicia Edwards.

BCB always finds ways to provide meals for its neighbors, Edwards said.

"We wanted to find ways to do it without being a financial hardship on the organization," she said. "The Summer Lunch Program grant through DHSS came through on Tuesday."

Lunches will be the same as school lunches — and will include a protein, a starched grain and a vegetable. Edwards is to complete the menu this week and share it with Sarah Eber, the nutrition and health program coordinator at Lincoln University.

"She'll come in throughout the course of the program and teach nutrition to the kids based on the meals that they're eating," Edwards said. "She'll probably come in at least once a week to talk about what's on their plates."

The program begins June 1, and is open to children ages 5-18. Meals are to be served noon-1:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at BCB, 213 E. Ashley St.

Volunteers are needed for the program. To volunteer for the meal program or other programs at the nonprofit, call 573-616-2845 or go to its website.

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