The school lunch room is a place of social gathering that can create lifelong memories. Now, school lunch isn’t just for the school year anymore.
An initiative called the Summer Food Program, provides free, healthy meals five days a week for those who are 18 and younger, at different locations, mostly schools, around the state.
Lunch, and sometimes breakfast, is served at each of the four locations.
Each meal follows the guidelines of the USDA food plate, formerly known as the food pyramid.
A typical meal served at a site contains milk, fruits, vegetables, bread and meat or a meat alternative.
Each location has a different way of choosing who serves the meals each day. Several of the schools use the employees that work in the cafeteria during the school year.
Depending on the location, some servers are paid and other servers
Despite the differences in how each site picks food servers, all those who serve food must be food
There are no applications or forms for participants to fill out. All parents need to do is take their children to the nearest open site.
With no applications it can be hard to guess how much food to prepare
As the summer goes on each location gets a pretty good idea of how much to prepare each day.
To combat this problem some sites prepare emergency meals.
There are sites throughout the state. Four are located in Rexburg; these include Smith Park, Kennedy Elementary School, Madison Middle School and Burton Elementary School.
Lynda Westphal, coordinator for the Summer Food Program, said she hopes getting more sponsors for the program. The program “helps children get nutritious meals that they need during the summer and helping them to be ready to learn when school starts again in the fall.”
To find information for nearby participating sites call 332-6820 or visit www.sde.idaho.gov.