The Dublin Free Summer Lunch Program will start its third year June 17 in a Dublin City school for the first time.

The Dublin Free Summer Lunch Program will start its third year June 17 in a Dublin City school for the first time.

The Monday-through-Thursday program that offers activities and lunch for children ages 1-18 will be held at Daniel Wright Elementary, 2335 W. Case Road, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 17-Aug. 8.

The program will be led by Wright teachers Sheryl Hardin and Josie Stewart. It draws volunteers from the school, but needs many more to sustain the program during the summer.

About 20 volunteers are needed each day from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

"The first hour is activities," Stewart said.

"There's an arts-and-crafts room, a science room, a reading room, gaming room and sports outside or in the gym.," Stewart said.

Lunch is served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

"The volunteers usually sit with the kids and eat with them and help the little ones eat," Stewart said.

Volunteering is really casual, and adults and responsible teens are accepted, she said.

"It's just playing with the kids and interacting with them at lunch," Hardin said.

Groups are also needed to sponsor activities for the children each day.

"They come in and decorate cookies, make a birdhouse or play soccer," Hardin said of previous activities, adding that the Columbus Crew did a soccer camp with the children. "Our music teacher did a music program ... We've had magicians, dentists (and) the fire department."

The summer lunch program is funded federally, meets USDA guidelines and serves no pork. It's basically an extension of the lunch program during the school year.

"It's just about feeding kids," Hardin said. "We want to give them something to do over the summer. It's seamless summer feeding.

"Since we supply free and reduced-price lunches during the school year, it flows right from the school year into the summer."

Last year, 2,235 lunches were served, an increase over the 1,780 served in the first year.

"The beauty of the program is it encompasses all kids. It's for all of them," Stewart said, adding that the site is open, which means family income does not need to be verified to participate.

Children can just show up, although contact information is needed in case of emergency.

By moving the summer lunch program to Wright Elementary, Hardin and Stewart are hoping to draw more children.

"Having it here, we're hoping to increase participation," Hardin said. "They know the school already."

A grant from the Northwest Presbyterian Church will fund bus stops in some neighborhoods to get children to Wright Elementary.

Hardin said the routes are still being worked out.

To sign up to volunteer for the Dublin Summer Lunch Program, go online to dublinfreesummerlunch.volunteerhub.com. All volunteers older than 18 must be fingerprinted at the central office, 7030 Coffman Road. Fingerprinting is done on Wednesdays.