This Friday marks the end of this year’s Food for the Summer program, which provides free lunches for children at different meal sites in Chapel Hill and Carrboro while school is out.

This summer through July 28, Chapel Hill Carrboro City School cafeterias have provided almost 40,000 total meals for children, serving several dozens of children a day.

Organizer and coordinator of Food for the Summer, Emma Jenkins Sullivan, says leading the program has been fun and challenging, and encourages volunteers to keep helping.

“We’re just kind of on our last stretch here and we’ve had more kids coming and we’ve seen the numbers actually growing in these last two weeks because a lot of the camps have been ending,” said Sullivan.

In addition to spending the week saying goodbye to teachers, children and volunteers involved with the program, Food for the Summer hosted an Eclipse Day party for families on Monday.

The Eclipse Day party was hosted in the North Side Neighborhood in the Hargraves Community Center, and included snacks and eclipse viewers for safe viewing donated by the Planetarium.

Jenkins says engaging with children at different sites and making connections through volunteers and families has been her favorite part of the program.

“We’re just very grateful for all the volunteers and all the community help we’ve had. There’s just been a lot of people organizing around this so it’s been a really enjoyable effort I think and we have gotten to feed a ton of kids over this summer,” said Sullivan.

Although volunteering opportunities for Food for the Summer end at the end of this week, anyone interested in donating can visit their website at their website.

The first day back for students in Chapel Hill- Carrboro City schools is Monday, August 28.