Officials Thursday celebrated Salina’s summer effort to feed hungry children. A ceremonial ribbon cutting at Heusner Elementary School signified the beginning of the free summer lunch program.
Free lunches are available again this summer for children who are out of school.
USD 305 food and nutrition services director Cindy Foley told KSAL News that the free summer lunch program, which has been going on for over a decade, is a big success.She measures the success by the number of meals served, which increases every year. Foley said that last summer over a million meals were served across the state.
Foley said that though a lot of people might not realize it, hunger is a real problem right here in Salina.
Foley who will retire at the end of June, is training her replacement. Thursday was the first day on the job for Laine Norris.
Norris tells KSAL News that the kickoff celebration of the free summer lunch program was a great way to start. She said that as the district’s new person in charge of meals and nutrition she hopes to get children into healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
Along with the free lunch on Thursday, children were also able to create artwork to decorate the summer meal sites and visit with a Shriner’s clown.
The free summer meal program goes through Friday, July 21st. All locations, except St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, will serve a free summer lunch from 12-12:30 p.m. St. John’s will serve lunches 11:30-noon, June 12-July 21. No meals will be served on Tuesday, July 4. Breakfast will be served only at the Cottonwood and Lakewood Middle School sites from 7:45-8:15 a.m. through June 30.
The Free Summer Meal serving sites are:
- Cottonwood Elementary, 215 S Phillips, east side entrance
- Heusner Elementary, 1300 Norton, north doors by art room
- Oakdale Elementary – 811 E. Iron, north door to new gym/shelter
- Schilling Elementary – 3121 Canterbury, side door by gym
- Sunset Elementary – 1510 W. Republic, south door to cafeteria
- Heartland Early Education – 700 Jupiter, north double doors off Venus
- St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church – 215 S. Chicago, gym door entrance
- Lakewood Middle School – 1135 Lakewood Circle, main entrance by office
- Church of the Cross – 1600 Rush, southeast door
- Salvation Army – 1137 N. Santa Fe, front door
The free lunches are for all children ages one through eighteen and adults are welcome to eat for $3.75. Breakfast price for adults is $2.00. There are no income requirements, fee or registration required to receive meals. This program is an equal opportunity provider.
The Salina Summer Meals Coalition is committed to summer meal programs in Salina. Partners include USD 305, Heartland Programs, the Salvation Army, St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, Sunrise Presbyterian Church, and Salina Area United Way, providing hot meals at ten sites for eight weeks during June and July.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with local organizations to provide free meals to children when school is out for the summer. For more information about the national Summer Food Service Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer.
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