Chester joins program for summer nutrition

CHESTER – Chester is the newest participating city in the Community Resource Center’s annual summer food program for children.

On Monday, Chester City Council approved the use of two city-owned sites by the East Liverpool-based social service agency, and a third site is pending.

“It’s a good program. I think it’s worth trying,” Councilman Mike Dotson said.

Center fiscal officer Nancy Hibbs said the agency has been considering Chester as a location since last year. “We know there’s a need over here too. We get a lot of people from West Virginia who use our services, including our monthly food distribution,” she said.

The summer food program provides nutritious lunches, and sometimes breakfast, for school-age children at numerous sites from June 3 to Aug. 31, Hibbs said. This year’s program has 25 participating sites from as far north as East Palestine to as far south as Bellaire.

“There are too many kids who, once school’s out, don’t get a good lunch,” Hibbs said.

Although the program runs five days a week, some sites also offer a backpack program that makes meals available for weekends, she said.

In Chester, the sites will be the city playgrounds in the Upper End and at the intersection of Third Street and Indiana Avenue. Chester City Park is another potential site, but the park board first must determine if there are any scheduling conflicts, City Councilman Dennis Murray said.

To volunteer as a site supervisor, call the Community Resource Center at (330) 385-1301.

Also Monday, council:

Agreed to pay any new city police officer who is already certified at a higher wage scale. The annual base salary for a certified officer – someone who already has graduated from the West Virginia State Police Academy – is about $30,000, Chief Ken Thorn said. The city has a vacancy with the recent resignation of Officer Markas Dunlevy, who was just about to enter the academy.

Accepted the resignation of Assistant City Clerk Nancy Woods, whose resignation is effective June 28. Council also authorized City Clerk Sandra Parkins to advertise the job opening.