Arts of the Pamlico launches summer feeding program

Published 7:10 pm Monday, May 29, 2017

Arts of the Pamlico is heading into the summer season with a new campaign — one that will combine serving meals and creating art.

Summer may mean a break from school, but for many children in Beaufort County, it may also mean limited access to adequate food. That’s why Arts of the Pamlico at the Turnage Theatre will act as an open feeding site all summer long.

From June 12 to Aug. 25, the new program “Art Nibbles” will offer free meals and an art project to any child who walks through the door. Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m. and lunch at noon.

Children’s Theater Director Dylan Ritch said when Care-O-World, an early learning center, reached out to AOP about a summer feeding program, its response was unanimously yes. The program will offer a variety of meals throughout the summer.

A variety of art projects will be provided to the children, as well. Ritch said he hopes this campaign will not only give children nutritious meals, but also a connection to the arts and the chance to do something they enjoy.

“We are going to do everything from making ornaments to puppet making to a little sculpture and clay making,” Ritch said.

But the benefits of the program go beyond serving nutritious meals and creating art. It demonstrates outreach and support. Ritch believes that providing summer meals and art to children shows them that the community cares about them. It shows children a sense of community at a young age and teaches them to care and look out for one another in the future.

“I’m a firm believer that children’s programs aren’t just about cultural and artistic experiences, but using it to teach them how to be a good human being and a positive contributor to this world,” Ritch said.

Arts of the Pamlico is still looking for volunteers to help make “Art Nibbles” successful. To volunteer, call 252-946-2504.