Gov. Bev Perdue, Charlotte Bobcats player Kemba Walker and a host of local and state officials will gather at a west Charlotte school Thursday morning to mark the state-wide launch of the summer lunch program for children from low-income families.
The Summer Food Service Program is designed to give students nutritious meals during the summer.
Those children receive breakfast and lunch at school sites during the academic year, but state officials say less than 13 percent of the children who receive free or reduced-price lunches at school took advantage of the summer program last year. About 650,000 children in North Carolina are eligible for the meals.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials say they will served more than 456,000 meals this summer at more than 150 sites in Mecklenburg County.
A special event to launch the program is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Thomasboro Elementary, on Bradford Drive in west Charlotte.
Joining Perdue will be Walker and Bobcats TV announced Steve Martin; Thomasboro Elementary Principal Jan McIver; Don Arnette, the regional administration for the U.S. Department of Agricultures Food and Nutrition Service; and the Dancing for Diversity troupe from Communities in Schools.
Perdue helped start a public-private partnership last September to broaden the meals program for children from low-income families.
North Carolinas program is part of the No Kid Hungry national campaign.
Thomasboro Elementary, with more than 93 percent of its students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches, is among the community summer meals sites.