(WSYR-TV) — Keeping kids safe and involved in their community, the Mary Nelson Summer Youth Program kicked off on Monday, offering youth and teens free resources, meals and even free haircuts all summer long.
The program operates as a drop-in center for anyone who wants to participate and also provides a free food pantry five days a week.
Nelson says she hopes this program provides a safe haven for youth and teens not just this summer, but year round.
“I want to be able to let them know that they don’t have to be walking the streets because sometimes idle time can get yourself in a lot of trouble, feeding a child resources that’s the best way to go,” Nelson said.
Nelson said showing her community love and unity is one way she hopes to try and stop the recent increase in youth violence.
The program and food pantry are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.