Free school lunches begin Monday
Those who say there is no free lunch have not yet heard about the new Summer Food Service Program.
In an effort to ensure children have healthy food available to them, the Fairfield Community School District is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. The program is part of the Department of Education’s nutrition initiative. Fully funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the program will provide lunches to children free of charge.
Fairfield school cooks will prepare the meals and meal service will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday at Pence Elementary School. Meals will be served every weekday through Aug. 9. There are no income contingencies for the program.
Fred McElwee, director of auxiliary services for Fairfield school, stressed that as long as children fall within the age requirements, there are no other qualifications that must be met to participate in the program.
“Any child between the ages of 2 and 18 is welcome to come and eat lunch,” McElwee said, adding that children don’t even need to be a Fairfield resident to partake.
“The kids don’t even have to be Fairfield residents,” he said. “If a family has company, if maybe a cousin is staying with them, they can bring them along to eat, as well.”
McElwee said that as the district prepares to launch the program, he is nervous about having enough food prepared initially.
“We don’t know, obviously, how many kids will show up. There’s some guesswork involved. We’re going to prepare meals for 125 kids at first and we will adjust accordingly,” he said.
When summer school begins July 15, McElwee expects an increase in the number of children eating lunch at Pence.
Summer school will be held at the Fairfield Middle School this year. Children will have the opportunity to walk to Pence and eat lunch. The district will then bus them home.
“We just really want to encourage kids to come eat,” McElwee said.
Summer school lunch menus are available on the school district’s website at www.fairfieldsfuture.org. Menus also will be printed each Friday in The Fairfield Ledger.
Each year the USDA partners with local organizations like Fairfield school to provide free meals to children when school is out. For more information about the Summer Food Service Program in Iowa, visit http://tinyurl.com/4n2lr9u.
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