As part of Lunch Across Kansas Week, which is this week, the Southwest Dairy Farmers Mobile Dairy Classroom will be at two of the Salina summer meal sites on Friday.
It will first be at Oakdale Elementary, 811 E. Iron, 11:30 a.m. to noon, in the parking lot of the school, before summer lunch is served. The second site is Sunset Elementary School, 1510 W. Republic. They will be in the back parking lot 12:30 to 1 p.m., which is after lunch is served.
Teaching kids about the dairy industry is one priority of Southwest Dairy Farmers Mobile Classroom. The Mobile Dairy Classroom is a traveling milking parlor, featuring a live cow and presentation. A trained instructor will talk about the nutritional aspect of milk, demonstrate the modern milking process, describe how milk goes from the farm to the fridge, and then answer questions from the audience. At the two sites, youth and their families will share an experience that includes math, science, health (nutrition), and agriculture, all presented in an outdoor classroom format. The mobile dairy classroom is free of charge courtesy of the Southwest Dairy Farmers.
This program is a part of the Farm to School Promotion. Both programs are free and open to the public.
To help bridge the summer nutrition gap for children who receive free or reduced-priced lunch in school, USD 305 provides free meals to children during the summer at ten sites. In Kansas, many sites see a drop in participation after the 4th of July. Summer Food Service Programs across Kansas are participating in Lunch Across Kansas with the goal of providing healthy meals and snacks to 200,000 Kansas kids in one week!
“For every 100 kids who ate free or reduced-price lunch during the school year, only 8 received lunch through the Summer Food Service Program in Kansas in July 2015,” according to Rebekah Gaston, Director of the Childhood Hunger Initiative at Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. “Kansas Appleseed and the Kansas State Department of Education are partnering with Summer Food Service Programs across the state to increase the number of meals available to Kansas kids and to make sure families know where and when meals are being served. Kansas added 99 sites between 2014 and 2015, and we expect to see a similarly impressive increase when the final numbers come in for 2016.”