CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Lunch seems like a simple idea, but for thousands of local children, getting their hands on it isn t so easy.

An important program kicked off Wednesday that could make it more accessible.

Free Lunch began as students and staff kicked off summer 2013 at Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. The goal is to get breakfasts and lunches into the youngsters who might not get a healthy option in the summer.

It s extremely important for them to get a well balanced, nutritious meal in a safe environment, and to now they can count on this program throughout the summer, said CMS Director of Child Nutrition Amy Harkey.

Harkey estimates the district will serve 200,000 breakfasts and 400,000 lunches this year at dozens of school and campsites.

Federal dollars fund the program, which anyone can take advantage of, whether or not they re a CMS family.

Harkey says the program is making a difference for kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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